After four years in the White House, Donald Trump is leaving the United States presidency with low job approval ratings following the January 6 attack by his supporters on the US Capitol, according to three new public opinion surveys.
One poll showed an overwhelming majority of Americans opposed the mob violence at the Capitol and two suggest most people think Trump should be prevented from running for office again.
At the same time, however, a sharp partisan divide remains over the outgoing president’s conduct and whether he shares blame for inciting the riot at the Capitol. And Trump’s base of supporters believe Republicans politicians should still follow his lead.
The new findings come from surveys released on Friday by the Pew Research Center and Washington Post-ABC News, and on Thursday by Reuters-Ipsos.
Trump’s approval rating dropped to 29 percent in the latest Pew Research Center survey, an all-time low.
Most US adults – 89 percent in the Washington Post-ABC News survey – oppose the actions of the people who stormed the US Capitol last week as Congress was meeting to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
The surveys indicate a cloud is developing over Trump, who is refusing to attend Biden’s inauguration on January 20 that will take place amid extraordinary security precautions. Trump plans his own departure rally at Andrews Air Force base on the same day.
The Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 56 percent of Americans favour disqualifying Trump from ever holding office in the future.
The House of Representatives impeached Trump on January 13 on a charge of incitement to insurrection and the US Senate is preparing to conduct a trial.
The Pew survey found that 68 percent of Americans do not want to see Trump remain a major political figure in the years to come.
According to the Reuters-Ipsos survey, which was conducted from January 8-12, Trump’s approval with Republican voters was 70 percent, down seven percentage points from the previous week.
Still, 56 percent of Republicans in the ABC-Washington Post survey said Trump bears no blame at all for the Capitol attack and 66 percent of Republicans said Trump has acted responsibly since the election. A majority continue to believe his false claims that the election was rigged, according to the survey.
Further, 51 percent of Republicans said Republican members of Congress did not go far enough in supporting Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Whether that will change as more evidence comes to light and the public gains a wider understanding of what took place on January 6 remains to be seen.
The FBI has opened more than 200 case files on individuals suspected of attacking the Capitol and more than 100 arrests have been made, according to the US Attorney’s Office in Washington, DC.
Some Republican politicians are breaking with Trump while others are continuing to support the baseless idea that the election was stolen from him.
Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, one of just 10 House Republicans who voted for Trump’s impeachment on Wednesday, noted that she was hearing from constituents who “are unclear on what transpired before & during that involved President Trump”.
Herrera Beutler issued a 16-tweet thread detailing the mob attack and Trump’s role in it.
In conversations w/residents about this week’s impeachment vote, some are unclear on what transpired before & during that involved President Trump.
Here are the indisputable and publicly available facts ⬇️
— Jaime Herrera Beutler (@HerreraBeutler) January 15, 2021
Other Republicans including Senator Josh Hawley, who objected in Congress to the certification of Biden’s win in two states, are not backing away from their claims about the election.
“Many, many citizens in Missouri have deep concerns about election integrity,” Hawley said in an op-ed in the Southeast Missourian news outlet on Thursday.
“I will not bow to a lawless mob, or allow criminals to drown out the legitimate concerns of my constituents,” Hawley said.
Biden won the 2020 election in the Electoral College by 306 votes to Trump’s 232. Biden won the national popular vote by 81.2 million votes to Trump’s 74.2 million.
Biden received generally positive marks in the latest polls for his handling of his role as president-elect.
The Pew Research survey was conducted online among a panel of 5,360 US adults from January 8 to 12.
The Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by telephone among 1,002 adults from January 10 to 13. It had a credibility margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
The Reuters-Ipsos poll was conducted among a sample of 1,399 US adults between January 8 and 12 with a credibility margin of 3.3 percentage points.