A majority (54%) say Trump should be elected to the 20th Amendment. January is expected to be removed from office for his role in the events of Jan. 6, when Trump incited a crowd of his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol – an unlikely prospect given Vice President Mike Pence’s application of the 25th Amendment. The constitutional amendment ruled out the possibility of removing Trump from office, and it is unlikely that any impeachment will be passed by the Senate House of Representatives before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in this week.
That’s more than the share of those who supported Mr. Trump’s impeachment and removal in 2019 or early 2020, when the investigation that led to his first impeachment was tried in the Senate. But the broad bias that shaped opinions on this issue in this process remains today. Nearly all Democrats (93 percent) favor Trump not being elected before the 20th congressional district in January of their term, while only 10 percent of Republicans do.
The vote took place when the House voted for the second time to remove Mr. Trump from office, and there was no significant difference in support for Mr. Trump’s removal before and after the vote.
Overall, 34 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the presidency. That’s a 42 percent drop from the pre-election poll and a point below the previous low in the CNN poll. Among supporters of his own party, Trump’s approval rating has dropped 14 points since October, but remains overwhelmingly positive at 80 percent approval. It has a small single-digit lead over the Democrats (3% before the election, 2% now).
Just over a third of Americans (36%) describe the attack on the U.S. Capitol on the 6th. January as a crisis for American democracy, with 39% more calling it a serious problem. Opinions on the importance of the attack are split between the parties, with most Democrats calling it a crisis (54%) and few Republicans agreeing (20%).
The public largely rejects the unproven conspiracy theory behind the riots – that Biden did not legitimately get enough votes to become president – with 65 percent saying he legitimately got enough votes, but a significant portion (23 percent) – especially among Republicans (58 percent) – believe the conspiracy theory is correct and that there is strong evidence to support it. There is no evidence that the election was illegal and that there was massive fraud in the counting of votes.
The issues raised by Trump’s campaign team and repeated by GOP lawmakers and the conservative media in the months following the election appear to have undermined Republican confidence in the US electoral system as a whole. At least 75 percent of Republicans say they have little confidence that American elections reflect the will of the people.
A majority of Americans (55%) believe Trump deserves blame for storming Capitol Hill. Opinions are divided by party: 92 percent of Democrats have high hopes for Trump versus 13 percent of Republicans. Also, the 4 in 10 who say Republican lawmakers who opposed the 2020 election results are heavily at fault are evenly split between the parties (70% Democrats, 14% Republicans).
However, there is more agreement that the rioters themselves bear a great deal of responsibility for the storming of the US Capitol. Overall, 76 percent of respondents put more responsibility on their shoulders, including 88 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of Republicans. Far fewer (26%) blame the Capitol Police.
Most say those who revolted on Capitol Hill were not punished enough (63%), and even there the reaction of supporters holds up. Among Democrats, 85% say the rioters were not punished enough, while among Republicans the figure drops to 38%. Republicans are more likely than others to say they’re not sure the rioters have been punished enough.
Evaluation of the Honorary Presidency
Looking back at Mr. Trump’s time at the helm of the European Union, 55% of those surveyed consider his tenure a failure rather than a success, while 41% consider it a success. More people now say Mr Trump’s presidency has changed the country (85%) than at any other time in his tenure, but most (55%) say he has changed the country for the worse, the first time most have said this. Among Democrats, 82% think he changed them for the worse, while among Republicans, about a quarter (24%) do.
Trump’s latest score lags far behind that of his immediate predecessor (Barack Obama resigned in 2017 with a score of 60 percent) and is one of the worst since Gallup began regularly tracking presidential approval ratings in the 1940s. Five of the 12 presidents left office during this period with an approval rate of less than 40%: Jimmy Carter and Trump at 34%, Harry Truman at 32%, George W. Bush at 31% and Richard Nixon at 24% before his resignation.
The economy remains a strong point for Trump with the public. 53% say they approve of the way he has run the economy – the only question asked for which he received the majority of the vote. The biggest crises of his last year in office – the coronavirus epidemic and race relations – deserve a decidedly negative assessment. Only 34% agree with how he handled race relations, and 36% agree with how he handled the coronavirus. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, immigration, is equally weak in terms of signature approval. Only 36% agree with the way he treated him.
Trump’s popularity rating – a measure of his opinion of himself rather than his performance as president – is one of the lowest in his political career. Overall, 33% of respondents have a favorable opinion of Trump, while 64% have an unfavorable opinion. Since announcing his candidacy for the presidency in June 2015, he has deteriorated twice – in September 2015 and March 2016 – twice before he was even elected.
Other results from the same poll suggest that as Trump’s position in public opinion declines, Americans are ready for the Republican Party to distance itself from Trump. The GOP’s popularity has plummeted since the election, and about three-quarters of Americans say they want the GOP to let Trump go instead of continuing to treat him as their leader.
Overall, opinions on the pence have remained the same, but there has been a partisan shift in opinions on the pence, despite the lack of movement at the top of the issue. Among Republicans, his approval rating is down 12 points from a poll conducted in early October, while among Democrats, it’s up 14 points over the same period.
First Lady Melania Trump is getting more criticism (47 percent) than at any time since CNN first interviewed her in February 2016.
The methodology and weighting of this survey have changed from previous CNN surveys. The proportion of interviews conducted by mobile phone was 75 percent, compared to 65 percent in previous surveys. The duration of the appeals will be extended by six days instead of four, making more effort to reach those who are not so easily accessible. Demographic weights were adjusted for more discrete educational categories disaggregated by race, and geographic weights were applied to ensure a representative distribution by population density. In addition, the results were weighted based on party identification and propensity for independence, with targets based on the average of the current poll and the last three CNN polls.
The new CNN survey was conducted by the SSRS from January 9 to 14 among a national random sample of 1,003 adults contacted via landline or cell phone using a live interviewer. The results for the entire sample show a sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
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