Voters of former President Donald Trump are more convinced than ever that his behavior during the Capitol uprising was neither worthy of impeachment nor even “inappropriate.” HuffPost / YouGov survey find.
The recent impeachment trial was filled with unreleased videos pro-Trump rioters broke into the Capitol on Jan.6, highlighting the danger they posed to top Congess leaders and Vice President Mike Pence. The videos were associated with Trump’s own comments promoting lies that the 2020 election had been stolen from him, targeting Pence, and encouraging his supporters at a rally just before the siege to “fight” on his behalf.
In the aftermath of the January 6 attack, Trump supporters walked away from the crowd, with most Republicans saying they disapproved of the rioters’ actions and didn’t believe they represented his supporters as a whole. However, that disavowal did not extend to Trump, whose actions are viewed by most of his constituents as entirely acceptable.
Of those who voted for Trump in the November election, 60% now say his behavior on the day of the riot was appropriate, according to the poll, which took place days after the Senate voted to acquit Trump for inciting insurrection. Thirty percent of those voters say his behavior was inappropriate, but not an impenetrable offense, with just 3% calling him inaccessible.
On the other hand, a survey carried out earlier this month as the trial began found that 49% of Trump voters rated his behavior as appropriate, 36% described it as inappropriate and 4% said it was faultless.
More than half of Trump’s voters, 55%, say they believe the former president’s rhetoric discourages his supporters from acting violently, with just 5% saying he encourages violence; 64% say Trump did enough to specifically condemn the assault on Capitol Hill. These responses are largely unchanged from the start of the Senate trial.
Public sentiment as a whole is considerably different. Of all Americans, 45% said Trump’s conduct on January 6 was ungodly, 18% said it was inappropriate but not impassable, and 24% said his conduct was appropriate.
About half of Americans, 52%, say Trump hasn’t done enough to condemn the assault on Capitol Hill by his supporters, with just 28% saying he’s done enough. Forty-four percent say Trump’s rhetoric encourages his supporters to act violently, while 23% say it discourages them, and 20% say neither. By a 6 percentage point margin, 45% to 39%, Americans say the Senate made the wrong decision in voting to acquit him on the impeachment charge of inciting insurgency.
About 9 in 10 voters for President Joe Biden view Trump’s conduct as ungodly, with similar shares saying he did not do enough to condemn the January 6 insurgency and that the Senate made the wrong decision in l ‘acquitting.
The vast majority of Americans participating in the survey, 82%, say they have heard or seen at least media coverage of Trump’s trial, but only about a third said they watched more than brief clips and facts. highlights.
As is often the case with political news, the trial hearing was somewhat self-selected. Biden voters were 20 percentage points more likely than Trump voters to say they watched most or all of the debates. Sources of information about the trial also erupted along political lines: Among Trump voters who followed at least some of his coverage on cable news networks, 71% said they watched Fox News, with less than 1 in 10 tuning into CNN or MSNBC. About half of Biden voters who watched cable coverage say their viewing habits included CNN, 44% watch MSNBC, and only 2% tune in to Fox.
The disparity of opinion, however, cannot be reduced to a question of media bubbles. While the respective sample sizes are small, Trump voters who watched at least parts of the trial were not particularly more likely than those who follow less closely to find his behavior inappropriate.
The HuffPost / YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted February 16-19 with U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s online opt-in panel to match demographics and other characteristics of the community. American adult population.
HuffPost has partnered with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can find out more about this project and to take part in YouGov’s representative national opinion poll. More details on the survey methodology are available here.
Most surveys report a margin of error which represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which is based on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard random sampling methodology. If these assumptions are wrong, the margin of error based on the model may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.
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