How could someone with these types of numbers be elected president again in 2024? I was struck by this basic, nagging issue as I read through the latest CNN poll on January 6, 2021, insurrection and the part Donald Trump played in it.
Let’s review a few of the numbers:
* 45% of Americans think Trump acted illegally on January 6.
* 34% think Trump acted unethically but not illegally.
* 61% believe that Trump’s public statements encouraged political violence that day.
* Just 23% think Trump did everything in his power to stop the riot once it was underway.
* Only 32% think Trump did more than then-Vice President Mike Pence to act in the best interests of the country that day. (67% say Pence did more.)
Nearly 50% of Americans believe Trump broke the law! About 1 in 4 people believe that he tried everything to put an end to the riot once it started! 6 out of 10 people believe he provoked the violence that day!
These are appalling figures quite poor.
Generally speaking, it appears that the American public has already formed an opinion on Trump and January 6. They think he started it, aggravated it, and might have even broken any laws.
So, how are we considering him as a serious candidate for the presidency in 2024?
Our response is buried in the CNN poll’s results.
We asked respondents if they saw the events of January 6 as a crisis, a significant problem, a small problem, or not a problem at all.
Overall, 27% of respondents called it a crisis, and the remaining 71% said it was a big concern (42 percent).
However, the figures were quite different from what Republicans claimed about that particular day. Just about one in three (13%) said it was either a crisis (10%) or a significant issue (26 percent). Republicans in general believed that January 6 was either a small issue (36 percent) or not an issue at all (27 percent).
Why does that matter? Republicans place a much lower status on what happened on January 6 and what it means for the nation than the general public.
In turn, this means that Republicans are less concerned with January 6 when deciding who to nominate as president. Nearly a third of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents believe that the party should be extremely or somewhat accepting of candidates who believe that the 2020 election was rigged.