If 2016 was the election of the low-information voter, a new survey suggests that demographic is hitting new depths, even after their preferred candidate took the White House. A new poll shows that 10% of Americans believe that recently resigned White House press secretary Sean Spicer is heading the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Only 47% of respondents to a survey by Pew Research Center correctly identified former FBI Director Robert Mueller as head of the Russia investigation. Additionally, 53% answered the question incorrectly (31%) or didn’t know the answer (22%).
The poll, which was in the form of a multiple-choice quiz and surveyed 1,002 adults, found that Americans' ignorance about their elected officials doesn't stop there. Many respondents couldn't correctly identify other political figures from every branch of government.
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Only 44% knew that the secretary of state is Rex Tillerson. Although 62% knew the speaker of the House is Paul Ryan, and 45% correctly named Neil Gorsuch as a Supreme Court justice.
International events also proved problematic: Only 37% knew that the current president of France is Emmanuel Macron, and 60% correctly answered that the country in the process of leaving the European Union is the United Kingdom.
The respondents did score higher on certain ongoing events in the news: 86% knew that the Zika virus is spread by mosquitoes, and 79% knew that the ongoing crisis in Flint, Michigan, is that the water is contaminated by lead.
The poll results even come after several weeks in which Robert Mueller's name has been front and center in the news, as speculation mounts that President Trump is trying to force the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions as an initial step in firing Mueller.