Washington

Hunter Biden Probe Not a Top Congressional Priority for Most Voters

A third of voters say a congressional investigation into Hunter Biden's overseas business dealings would be primarily motivated by a desire to politically affect Joe Biden

Hunter Biden embraces his father, President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden at the 2021 inauguration ceremony. (Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

Less than 3 in 10 voters say Congress should make investigating Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings a top priority, according to a new Morning Consult/Politico survey, while fewer voters think congressional Republicans are primarily motivated by national security in their push to put President Joe Biden’s son under the microscope.

Over Half of GOP Voters Say Probing Hunter Biden Should Be a ‘Top Priority’ for Congress

Voters were asked how important of a priority investigating Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings should be for Congress

Survey conducted April 8-11, 2022, among a representative sample of 2,005 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-2 percentage points. Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding
Where voters stand on prioritizing a Hunter Biden investigation 
  • Amid increasing attention on Hunter Biden’s foreign business activity, 28% of voters say Congress should make investigating them a “top priority.” Just over half of Republican voters (52%) say Congress should prioritize the probe, more than twice the share of independents and five times the share of Democrats who agree.
  • That share of voters backing a Hunter Biden probe matches the portion who say Congress should above all else prioritize legislation to reduce income inequality, or place new restrictions on gun ownership, and it’s more than the share who say bills to legalize marijuana or provide relief to Americans with student loan debt are most important. 
  • Support for a probe into Hunter Biden’s business dealings is slightly less than the share of voters who viewed probes of then-President Donald Trump’s tax returns (32%) or his campaign’s ties to Russia (31%) as similarly critical in a survey conducted just after the 2018 midterm elections
The context

Hunter Biden’s ties to a Ukrainian business first gained prominence in the conservative media during Donald Trump’s first impeachment proceedings, when he was under scrutiny for coercive behavior toward Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, whom he wanted to find dirt on his eventual 2020 rival.

Few voters seemed to mind the Hunter Biden story ahead of the presidential campaign, according to a Morning Consult/Politico survey conducted in September 2019, and voters went on to elect Biden nearly a year later despite Republican chatter about his son.

Now, federal investigators have escalated an investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings — news that a recent Morning Consult/Politico survey found 16% of voters had seen, read or heard “a lot” about, including 11% of Democrats, 12% of independents and 22% of Republicans. Republicans in Washington are looking to relitigate the issue if they take back Congress in the midterm elections, and many voters see unsavory, or at least mixed, intentions.

How voters view calls for a Hunter Biden investigation
  • A third of voters say a congressional investigation of Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings would be primarily motivated by a desire to politically affect Joe Biden, compared with 22% believe it would be fueled by a desire to protect U.S. national security — as some Republican lawmakers have claimed. Another 29% said such congressional oversight would accomplish both goals.
  • Just 15% of Republican voters said they believe a probe into the Biden’s son’s business dealings would be primarily motivated by politics, compared with 54% of Democrats and 28% of independents who said so.

The latest Morning Consult/Politico survey was conducted April 8-11, 2022, among a representative sample of 2,005 registered U.S. voters, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Morning Consult