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The Trump v. Comey war of words has hit a stalemate

Former FBI director James Comey's highly publicized interviews about his new book haven't convinced anyone who wasn't already on his side, according to a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll.

The bottom line: The public's views of Comey, and President Trump's decision to fire him, have been baked in for the last year — so Comey's high-profile book tour has barely moved the needle on how they view the showdown.

Data: SurveyMonkey poll conducted April 17–19, 2018Poll Methodology; Note: Historical comparison polls conducted May 26–June 4, 2017 and Dec. 1–3, 2017; Chart: Axios Visuals

They're also nearly evenly split on who they believe. The survey found that Comey hasn't gained the moral high ground over Trump in the public's mind:

  • 35% say they believe Comey over Trump.
  • 32% believe Trump over Comey.
  • 25% don't believe either one.

Comey is mainly winning the Democrats:

  • They believe Comey over Trump, 67% to 2%.
  • Republicans believe Trump over Comey, 70% to 8%.
  • Independents largely don't believe either one: 42%.

Between the lines: If Comey was hoping to change more minds — or convince the public of his view that Trump is "morally unfit to be president" — he may find that selling a book isn't the best way to do it. When asked why Comey is doing so many interviews, just 38% said it's to tell the truth about the Trump administration — while 56% said it's to promote himself and his book.

Methodology: This new Axios/SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted April 17-19 among 2,503 adults in the United States. The modeled error estimate is 3 percentage points. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over. Crosstabs available here.

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