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A majority of Americans have little to no faith that the Trump administration will stop foreign governments from interfering in the 2018 midterm elections, according to an Axios-SurveyMonkey poll. Republicans overwhelmingly trust the administration, but independents and Democrats don't, by large margins.

Why it matters: This is a huge issue that could undermine public confidence in the elections — and President Trump and the White House team are going to face constant questions about it between now and November. Try to think of the last election where the public didn't trust the president to prevent foreign meddling.

Expand chart
Data: SurveyMonkey polls held Feb. 21–23, 2018. Poll Methodology.; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Don't forget: Adm. Mike Rogers of the U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency has testified that Trump hasn't given him the authority to disrupt Russian election hacking operations.

The big picture: Most Americans say the federal government and tech companies have the responsibility to prevent foreign governments from using tech platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google to manipulate elections. The public doesn't have a lot of confidence in the tech companies either, but they're more evenly divided than they are on trust in the Trump administration.

The numbers that matter:

  • Overall, 66% of Americans say tech companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter have a "major responsibility" to stop foreign interference in the elections.
  • 63% say the federal government has a major responsibility to do the same.
  • Americans are evenly split, 48% to 48%, on whether they trust the tech companies to prevent foreign meddling.
  • Eight out of 10 Americans blame the tech companies for not doing more to keep their platforms safe from meddling in the 2016 elections, while 55% blame the Obama administration for not doing more on their end.

The bottom line: Americans are not in a good mood heading into the midterms — and that's a recipe for more than the usual distrust and fighting over the closest races.

Methodology: The online survey was conducted by SurveyMonkey from February 21-23, 2018 among 3,574 adults in the United States. They were selected from the nearly 3 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for the full sample is 2.5 percentage points. Crosstabs available here.

Go deeper

Cuomo asks New York AG and chief judge to choose "independent" investigator into sexual harassment claims

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at a press conference on Feb. 24. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

A special counselor to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement on Sunday asking the state's attorney general and chief judge to jointly pick an "independent and qualified lawyer in private practice without political affiliation" to investigate claims of sexual harassment against the governor.

The state of play: The statement is an about-face from Cuomo, who had previously selected a former judge close to a top aide to lead the investigation, the New York Times reported, a move that was widely criticized.

Republican Sen. Sasse slams Nebraska GOP for "weird worship" of Trump after state party rebuke

Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Neb.) Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

The Nebraska Republican Party on Saturday formally "rebuked" Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) for his vote to impeach former President Trump earlier this year, though it stopped short of a formal censure, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Sasse is the latest among a slate of Republicans who have faced some sort of punishment from their state party apparatus after voting to impeach the former president. The senator responded statement Saturday, per the Omaha World-Herald, saying "most Nebraskans don't think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude."

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.