In an Economist/YouGov poll conducted December 17 – 20, people were surveyed on their opinions of various theories that have floated around the media – mainstream and alternative – through the election season.
One such theory was whether Russia tampered with the vote tallies. Note that this is very different from saying that Russia hacked into the Democratic National Committee’s and John Podesta’s emails and gave them to WikiLeaks for the purpose of harming Hillary and helping Trump. It’s different from saying that Russia helped to spread “fake news” on social media. Even though those are unsubstantiated claims, they are the politically correct theories to hold.
No one in any official capacity has claimed that Russia hacked the voting machines and messed with the vote tallies to help Trump win. No one in the CIA or the FBI has even suggested that. Not even Obama has. In fact, Obama rejected that possibility outright.
But “fake news” has a way of giving viewers a false perception.
When polled, 50 percent of respondents who identified as Hillary voters actually believe that “Russia tampered with vote tallies in order to get Donald Trump elected President.” Fifty-two percent of Democrats said the same.
Even 18 percent of Republicans – and 9% of Trump voters – agreed with the statement. That can’t be blamed on “hyperpartisan right-wing websites.” People believe what they want to believe. If they don’t like Trump for whatever reason, they’ll believe every negative thing being said in the media about him, whether true or not.