Majorities of U.S. voters believe state and local officials, as well as political campaigns and committees, are not prepared to combat cyberattacks or hacking efforts targeting the 2018 midterms, according to a new Morning Consult/Politico poll — with Republican voters in particular growing more skeptical about cyber preparedness in advance of the November elections. The survey, conducted July 19-23 among a national sample of 1,996 registered voters, comes after the U.S. Justice Department announced indictments against 12 Russian intelligence officers in the hacking of the Democratic National and Democratic Congressional Campaign committees and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Fifty-one percent of survey respondents said both election officials and campaign and committee officials are not prepared to deal with cyberthreats. Thirty-six percent said state and local officials are prepared and 35 percent said the same about political campaigns and committees.
Despite news of the indictments, sentiments about election security are largely unchanged from Morning Consult/Politico polling conducted June 14-18 — except among Republican voters, who have grown less certain of election security and preparedness in the interim.
Forty-four percent of GOP voters believe state and local officials are prepared to combat cyberthreats, down 6 percentage points from last month’s poll. The share of Republicans who believe these officials are unprepared for such threats rose from 39 percent to 43 percent in the same time period.