According to a new Washington Post/ ABC News survey, a full 56 percent of Americans support banning outgoing President Donald Trump from ever running for office again. That number includes 89 percent of the poll’s Democratic and Democratically leaning respondents and 12 percent of respondents who were either Republican or leaned Republican. In the same survey, overwhelming majorities of Americans — including 80 percent of Republican respondents — said that they were opposed to the deadly rioting that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol last week, but only 57 percent of respondents overall said that they believe that Trump deserves a “great deal” or a “good amount” of blame for the violence. Only 20 percent of Republican respondents said the same.
In the poll, 54 percent of respondents overall said that Trump “should be charged with the crime of inciting a riot.” Before the violence unfolded, Trump instigated the crowd in a speech at an outdoor event in D.C. for his supporters, where he insisted that those who supported his agenda needed to “fight like hell” to save the country.
Trump has spent the months since Election Day feverishly lying about what took place, falsely claiming that a nationwide election-rigging scheme swung the election to Biden. There has never been any meaningfully conclusive evidence for this claim, and no court anywhere in the country has accepted the idea at any point in dozens of post-election court cases. Nevertheless, the Capitol rioters moved under this pretense — when they stormed the building, Congress was inside, working on the formal certification of the electoral college outcome (meaning Biden’s victory).
In the new Washington Post/ ABC News survey, 51 percent of respondents overall said that they are now less confident in the “stability of democracy” in the United States. Troublingly, although 66 percent of respondents overall said that Trump “acted irresponsibly in the post-election period,” about the same number of Republicans — 65 percent — said the opposite, insisting that Trump behaved “responsibly.” A full 66 percent of Republican respondents said that “there is solid evidence of widespread fraud” — which, of course, doesn’t exist. There’s clearly a deeply rooted problem of disconnection from fundamental reality within the Republican Party.