Over Half of Americans Believed Donald Trump Tried to Stay in Office Illegally: Survey
Most Americans firmly think that former President Donald Trump made an illegal attempt to hold onto power.
CBS News/YouGov conducted a survey that yielded important insights into Americans' perspectives on the acts of former President Donald Trump after the 2020 election. 51% of Americans believe that Trump attempted to use "illegal and unconstitutional" measures to serve a second term in office, The Hill reported.
Twenty-nine percent felt the former president attempted to remain in power using legal means, while twenty percent disagreed. The survey was carried out following Trump's indictment on four federal counts concerning his purported attempts to rig the 2020 presidential contest. Fifty-four percent of those surveyed said they would view Trump's attempt to rig the election as a threat to democracy. Twenty-eight percent answered neither, while seventeen percent indicated they would view it as sustaining democracy.
The majority of Americans, or roughly 59%, claimed that the indictments against Trump and the investigations into him were attempts to thwart his bid for president in 2024. Of those surveyed, 57% claimed they were there to protect the law and 52% to safeguard democracy.
Over one-third of Americans thought that the investigations and charges were personal, and 56% of Republicans thought that they were an attack on similar individuals—a claim that Trump has frequently made at his rallies. MAGA Republicans were more likely than non-MAGA Republicans to believe that the investigations and indictments were an attack on them, with 77 percent of MAGA Republicans saying as much in a poll.
Republican perceptions of the investigations and prosecutions as an attempt to thwart Trump's 2024 campaign were much more prominent than Democratic ones, with 86 percent of Republicans and only 31 percent of Democrats agreeing. Democrats, on the other hand, were more inclined to believe that the investigations and indictments were protecting democracy and preserving the rule of law.
Political columnist for the New York Magazine Ed Kilgore believes that the indifference towards January 6 is a huge threat to American democracy. Despite the House Select Committee's best efforts, the events of January 6 have not become a major campaign issue.
A startling portion of the public views Trump's intentional attempt to overthrow democracy through an act of insurrection as just another red flag because they believe that democracy is fundamentally flawed. Kilgore believes this pays way to authoritarianism if Republicans win next term, even if Trump leaves.
But the way the indictments of Trump are seen as political vendetta spells bad trouble for the sanctity of the judiciary, as Robert Reich wrote for The Guardian. Trump is eroding public confidence in the criminal justice system by portraying it as politicized and corrupt and as a part of a plot to keep him from winning re-election.
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