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ABC News poll: Majority favors barring Trump from office, find him partially to blame for Capitol attack

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CNN
President Trump gestures to make a point while speaking.

NEW YORK, NY — Nine in 10 Americans oppose the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, seven in 10 say Donald Trump bears at least some responsibility for it and a majority in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll – 56% – favors efforts in Congress to bar him from holding elected office again.

Fifty-four percent in the national survey also say Trump should be charged criminally with inciting a riot for having encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol. More, 66%, say he has behaved irresponsibly, more broadly, in his statements and actions since the election.

Half the public, 51%, say the events of the past week in Washington, D.C., left them less confident in the stability of democracy in the United States. That said, just 20% are pessimistic about the future of the U.S. system of government, about the average in polling back to the 1970s.

See PDF for full results, charts and tables.


Further, while Trump’s claims of widespread fraud have raised fears he would undermine confidence in U.S. elections, Americans by 2-1, 62-31%, see no solid evidence for these claims. And the public by 63-36% expresses confidence in the electoral system overall. At the same time, confidence in the electoral system dives to 35% among Republicans, and, following their leader’s line, 65% of Republicans say they think there’s solid evidence of fraud.

The poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds Trump leaving office with a 38% job approval rating; 60% disapprove, matching (but not exceeding) his peak disapproval in August 2018. His career average approval rating is the lowest for any president in modern polling, back to 1939, and he is the first president in that time never to achieve majority approval at any point.

Fifty-nine percent expect him to be seen in history as a below-average president, including nearly half, 48%, who rate his tenure as “poor,” the most in polling dating to Gerald Ford in 1976. As noted, 56% favor Congress removing him from the presidency and barring him from holding elected office again – exceeding the 47% who supported his removal from office in his first impeachment last year.

Looking ahead, Americans by a wide margin say Republican officials should lead the party in a different direction rather than follow Trump’s leadership, 69-26%. But just among Republicans, a majority, 60%, wants to continue to follow Trump -- sharply fewer than in the past (83% in a similar question in 2018), but still marking the risk of a Trump/no Trump schism within the party.

Indeed, while 52% of all Americans say Republican leaders who supported Trump’s effort to overturn the election “went too far,” just 16% of Republicans say so, compared with 81% of Democrats and 54% of independents. And Trump maintains a 79% job approval rating in his own party, with 64% approving strongly.

The challenge for the Republicans, in what may or not be their post-Trump era, is how to straddle that continued in-party approval for the president with views outside the base. Among the predominant political group, independents -- often swing voters -- approval of Trump plummets to 35%, with 62% disapproving.

THE RIOT


Given the sharp differences on most political issues between partisan groups, one result in the survey stands out for its level of agreement: Eighty-nine percent of Americans oppose the actions of the people who stormed the Capitol, including 80% who are strongly opposed. Eight percent are in support, with strong support at 5%.

Support for those who stormed the Capitol reaches 15% among conservatives and Republicans alike, and 19% among people who approve of Trump’s job performance. Still, even among Trump approvers, 76% are opposed, including 60% strongly opposed.

Partisan and ideological gaps widen on other issues. Sixty-six percent of Republicans think Trump has acted responsibly since the election; 26% of independents and 5% of Democrats agree. Similarly, 65% of Republicans think there is solid evidence for Trump’s claims of voter fraud, falling to three in 10 independents and 4% of Democrats.

When it comes to the events of the past week, 42% of Republicans think Trump bears at least some responsibility for the attack on the U.S. Capitol; that rises sharply to 72% of independents and 93% of Democrats. Many fewer Republicans, 12%, think Congress should remove Trump from office and disqualify him from holding elected office in the future, vs. nearly six in 10 independents and nine in 10 Democrats.

In terms of Trump’s legacy, three in 10 conservatives and a quarter of Republicans think he’ll go down in history as a below average president. That compares with 60% of independents, 71% of moderates, 86% of liberals and 89% of Democrats.

Even with his comparatively higher support among Republicans, fewer respondents report having voted for Trump than actually did in November, suggesting that some one-time supporters are shying away from him -- further evidenced by 19% disapproval in his own party, near his career high. Indeed, in recalled vote, Trump’s support is comparatively low among non-conservative Republicans, who also are more critical than their conservative counterparts of his post-election actions. (Note, though, that the sample size of non-conservative Republicans is a small one; 72% of Republicans identify themselves as conservatives.)

Those who report having voted for Trump two and a half months ago, by contrast, by and large are not expressing buyer’s remorse: Ninety-one percent in this group say if the election were rerun today, they’d vote for him again.

APPROVAL


Trump’s approval rating is down 6 points from the last national ABC/Post poll in October. In contrast, most recent outgoing presidents have seen a bump in approval in their final days -- +5 points for Barack Obama in the last ABC/Post survey of his presidency, +5 for Bill Clinton and +7 for George Bush. Approval of George W. Bush, struggling with economic crisis and the unpopular war in Iraq, was just +3 points from December 2008, but +10 from the previous October.

Several elements of Trump’s closing approval rating stand out:

  • Disapproval among whites, 52%, matches the high in this group (from August 2017), and 49% of whites disapprove strongly, a record high. Disapproval grows to 75% among Hispanics and 89% among Black people.
  • Sixty-eight percent of women disapprove of Trump’s job performance, matching the high (also in August 2017), compared with 52% of men. This includes 56% disapproval among non-college educated white women, an important part of Trump’s coalition; in the ABC News exit poll, 63% of them supported him for reelection just in November.
  • Approval of Trump’s work in office is at record lows among seniors (37% approve) and higher-income Americans (33%). Approval among suburban residents, a sharply contested political group, is down 11 points from October, to 38%.

Whatever Trump’s role in the nation’s political future, the results make clear that his presidency -- and especially the events of last week -- have left deep divisions, not only in political attitudes, but also in views of American democracy. While, as noted, just 20% are outright pessimistic about the U.S. system of government, only 30% are optimistic -- near the low, and well off the average in polls back 46 years, 43%. The plurality, 48%, is uncertain.

Methodology


This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Jan. 10-13, 2021, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,002 adults. Results have a margins of sampling error of 3.5 percentage points, including design effects. Partisan divisions are 31-25-36%, Democrats-Republicans-independents.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, NY, with sampling and data collection by Abt Associates of Rockville, Maryland. See details on the survey’s methodology here.

News / Top Stories / US & World / Your Voice, Your Vote

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Comments

14 Comments

  1. The fact that only 52% of white Americans disapprove of the orange buffoon’s job performance is deeply troubling. The man is a criminal completely unfit for office. Why would anyone think this madman has done a good job?

  2. I am not a Trumpster AT ALL, can’t stand him. But I can think of a few good things he did. Signed the act to reform long sentences for non-violent crimes, told Iran to get bent, for example. But all that is lost because the whiny little tool believes in conspiracy theories about voter fraud evidence that simply doesn’t exist and his refusal to act like an adult when he clearly and legally lost the election.

    1. Yes, the sentence reform was good but I don’t think he did it for any reason other than being advised to do so by his political strategists. He did some good things for the National Parks too for the same motivations. Then right after that he tried to let oil companies drill in the ANWR. Thankfully that was stopped by the courts.

    1. You know what the Propaganda really is? It is the Big Lie that Trump really won the election. And you dumbasses took the hook, line, and sinker. Trump has taken all of you for a Hay Ride, but you think you are riding in a Corvette. Suckers!!!

  3. The view by most Americans that The Trumptard is the Worst President of ALL time is not just based on hate for the old fool. It is based on his own very words, his behavior and his work as a president. If this dumbass would have concentrated on actually making American’s lives better he would have been respected more. Instead he only behaved as a CEO of a corporation of 300 million Americans. All of his decisions as president were based on his past experience as a ruthless con businessman who cared nothing about people or their wants and needs. He only cared about his money and power that comes with it, and damn everything else. Every politician in Washington knew the type of man he was and told the world so but once he became president they all forgot how they thought this guy was going to be bad for America. Now the chickens have come home to roost

  4. …to roost and now they are all wondering how everything went wrong. Any person on the street with their eyes half open could have seen how Trump would screw everything up, but the White majority of voters who voted for him saw him as their Great White Hope who would preserve America as a Anglo Saxon White Evangelical nation that they believe is God’s manifest since America won its independence in the 18th century.

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