The first poll testing the FBI's decision to let Hillary Clinton off with a scolding for her sloppy handling of classified emails as secretary of State found that 54 percent disagreed with the decision not to indict, including a quarter of Democrats.
Rasmussen Reports found that 37 percent of likely voters agreed with the FBI move, 54 percent disagreed and 10 percent were undecided. The poll of 1,000 was taken Tuesday night and after the FBI's press conference announcing its decision.
Among Democrats, 64 percent agreed to let Clinton off with some tough words, but 25 percent disagreed with FBI Director James Comey's decision not to seek a criminal indictment
Among Republicans, 79 percent wanted an indictment. So did Independents, at 63 percent, and 25 percent of Democrats disagreed with the decision.
Other key findings from Rasmussen's analysis:
— Many critics of the FBI's decision claim that lower-level individuals caught mishandling classified information have been subject to prosecution and severe penalties. But 81% of all voters believe powerful people get preferential treatment when they break the law. Just 10% disagree.
— Among those who think powerful people get preferential treatment, 63% disagree with the FBI's decision not to seek a criminal indictment of Clinton. Ninety percent (90%) of those who do not believe the powerful are treated differently agree with the FBI's action.
— If Clinton had been indicted, however, only 46% of all voters think it would have been possible for her to get a fair trial. Thirty-three percent (33%) say a fair trial would not have been possible, but 21% are not sure.
— Democrats have a more favorable view of the FBI than Republicans.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com