POLL: Most Americans Say There's a 'Deep State,' Believe It's a 'Major Problem'

Chris Menahan
Apr. 27, 2017

Forty-eight percent of Americans are aware there's a "deep state" working secretly to "manipulate government policy" and 58 percent of those in the know say it's a "major problem," according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.

The poll defined the deep state as "military, intelligence and government officials who try to secretly manipulate government policy."

The majority of Americans are also aware the media makes up fake news:

From ABC News:
The poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds that views among partisan and ideological groups, interestingly, are quite similar on the existence of a deep state, while vastly different on the question of media vs. administration falsehoods.

In a rare show of bipartisan suspicion, 45 percent of Democrats think there's a deep state at work, as do 46 percent of Republicans. It nips up to 51 percent for independents. Ideologically, the story is similar: Forty-seven percent of liberals, 48 percent of conservatives and 52 percent of moderates see a deep state afoot. The main difference is by age; deep state seers peak at 59 percent among young adults (age 18-29) and drop to 37 percent among seniors.

There's little differentiation elsewhere; percentages in the 40s to 50s across groups see a deep state, with the motivating factor for that opinion not apparent in this survey's questions. That includes no significant differences by education, often a dividing line on political issues.
ABC News' report was mildly fair, though they inaccurately described awareness of the deep state as a "belief."

The Washington Post, which is the CIA's favorite newspaper and along with the New York Times openly got leaks from the deep state to take down Michael Flynn, reported on the poll slightly differently.

From The Washington Post, "The ‘deep state’ is President Trump’s most compelling conspiracy theory":
President Trump has many conspiracy theories. And it turns out there's one of them that people in both parties buy into, bigly: the deep state.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows about half of Americans (48 percent) believe in the concept of a deep state — i.e. “military, intelligence and government officials who try to secretly manipulate government policy” — and 35 percent dismiss it as a conspiracy theory.

The belief is very bipartisan. While 45 percent of Republicans believe it exists — perhaps believing it is undermining Trump even as we speak — 46 percent of Democrats also believe it exists — perhaps hoping it is undermining Trump even as we speak.

But it may not be a partisan thing, after all. Independents are slightly more likely to believe in the deep state, with 51 percent believing it's a real thing.
Notice how they manipulate the results of their own poll:
At the same time, many who believe in the deep state don't necessarily believe it's a big deal. Twenty-eight percent overall believe it's a “major problem” — including 29 percent of Democrats and 25 percent of Republicans. Another 14 percent say it exists but is a minor problem, and 6 percent say it's either not a problem or aren't sure.
Rather than admit 58% of the 48% who are aware of the deep state believe it's a major problem, they turn the 58% majority into a tiny minority "overall" to say most don't believe it's "a big deal."

They go on to quote from their CIA-partner paper the New York Times to dismiss the concept of a deep state as something made up by Steve Bannon:
The concept of a “deep state” — a shadowy network of agency or military officials who secretly conspire to influence government policy — is more often used to describe countries like Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan, where authoritarian elements band together to undercut democratically elected leaders. But inside the West Wing, Mr. Trump and his inner circle, particularly his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, see the influence of such forces at work within the United States, essentially arguing that their own government is being undermined from within.

It is an extraordinary contention for a sitting president to make.
Not only is there a deep state, it managed to take down our populist, billionaire outsider president who owed nothing to no one and forced him to become an establishment stooge before he even hit 100 days in office.

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