- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 3, 2018

President Trump has long blasted the special counsel’s investigation as a “witch hunt,” and it turns out a plurality of voters agree with him.

The CBS News/YouGov Battleground Tracker released Sunday found that 44 percent of those surveyed view special counsel Robert Mueller’s year-long probe into possible ties between Russian and the Trump campaign as “just a political witch hunt and distraction.”

Another 17 percent said the investigation was “serious, but not serious enough to get in the way of getting things done,” while 39 percent described it as a “critical matter of national security that needs to be prioritized.”

The poll, conducted May 24-30 with 5,693 registered voters in competitive and potentially competitive congressional districts, also found that the contest for House control is now a “toss-up,” with 219 seats likely to go Democratic and 216 tilting Republican in the November election.

The results, which belie longstanding predictions of a “blue wave” that would sweep Republicans out of power, show that “control is totally up for grabs,” given the poll’s nine-seat margin of error.

Those voting for Democrats were split on the reason for their vote, with 51 percent saying it was a vote in favor of Democratic policies and 49 percent describing it as a vote against President Trump and Republicans.

Meanwhile, 73 percent of those voting for Republicans said their support was for the White House and Trump policies, with 27 percent calling it a vote against the Democrats.

Democrats may have the intensity edge. Twice as many Democrats as Republicans—28 to 14 percent—said the race matters “more than a presidential election.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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