Billionaire Elon Musk reached a high-profile deal to buy the social media website Twitter for $44 billion in April 2022. Musk has since tried to cancel the deal, saying that Twitter breached the legal agreement by not providing him with enough information about the website’s fake accounts. Twitter has sued Musk to force him to uphold his offer — a move that will result in a five-day trial in October to determine whether Musk violated his legal agreement with the company.
In the latest Economist/YouGov poll, Americans are nearly twice as likely to say they side with Musk over Twitter (39%) than to say they take Twitter's side over his (20%) in the dispute over his cancellation of the deal to buy the company. Three in 10 Americans (30%) say they take neither side. Republicans are especially likely to back Musk (64%) rather than Twitter (8%). Democrats, meanwhile, are less likely to support Musk (19%) than Twitter (34%).
Many Americans approve of Musk trying to cancel his deal to buy Twitter, including 42% of Americans, 47% of Twitter users, and 53% of people who have heard “a lot” about Musk agreeing to buy Twitter back in April. Republicans are more likely to approve than disapprove of the proposed cancellation (by 53% to 20%), as are Democrats (39% to 24%).
Americans are split on whether they approve (39%) or disapprove (39%) of Musk attempting to buy Twitter in the first place— a drop in approval compared to when a similar question was asked in April 2022 (at that time, 45% approved and 26% disapproved). That drop in approval for Musk purchasing Twitter may, in part, reflect some further support for Musk getting out of the deal altogether.
– Carl Bialik and Taylor Orth contributed to this article
This poll was conducted on July 16 - 19, 2022 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens. Explore more on the methodology and data for this Economist/YouGov poll.