Why Republicans Should Be Concerned About Tapping Trump Again
The path to the nomination for former President Donald Trump has been relatively smooth, with his popularity among GOP voters remaining strong. However, this shift in public opinion is not reflective of the broader electorate, including independents, which poses a danger for Republicans and an opportunity for Democrats. While Republican voters may be increasingly dismissive of the events on January 6, the Capitol riot continues to have a negative impact on the general election.
Recent polls highlight the risks associated with choosing Trump as the candidate. The majority of Americans, including Democrats and independents, maintain negative views of the events on January 6, the participants involved, and Trump’s role in inciting the riot. Most Americans believe that President Joe Biden was rightfully elected, that Trump attempted to steal the election, and that the criminal charges against Trump in Washington are appropriate.
Trump’s Refusal to Concede and the Capitol Riot
Despite polls indicating a close race between Trump and Biden, it is important to recognize the significant liabilities associated with Trump’s refusal to concede the 2020 election and his actions leading up to the Capitol riot. These factors have the potential to sway voters in favor of Biden. In the previous midterm elections, voters rejected the majority of candidates who denied the legitimacy of the 2020 election, particularly in battleground states.
Public Perception of the January 6 Violence
Recent poll results reveal that public opinion surrounding the January 6 violence has remained relatively consistent since 2021. A Washington Post-University of Maryland poll found that half of respondents believe the protestors involved in the Capitol breach were mostly violent, with only a slight decrease from two years ago. Additionally, the percentage of Americans who feel that the legal punishments for those involved have been too harsh has increased, particularly among Republicans.
Furthermore, a majority of Americans believe that Trump bears a significant amount of blame for the attack on the Capitol, although this sentiment has decreased among Republicans. Democrats and independents overwhelmingly hold Trump responsible for the events of January 6.
Division Among Republicans on Legitimacy of Biden’s Election
A Suffolk University/USA Today poll indicates a stark divide among Republicans and the rest of the electorate regarding the legitimacy of Biden’s election. While 63 percent of all voters believe Biden was legitimately elected, only 29 percent of Republicans share this view. A significant majority of GOP voters, 59 percent, believe that Biden’s election was not legitimate.
Biden’s Efforts to Hold Trump Accountable
President Biden is actively highlighting Trump’s role in the Capitol riot as the anniversary of January 6 approaches. He delivered a speech in the critical Philadelphia suburbs, criticizing establishment Republicans who have once again aligned themselves with Trump. Biden’s campaign has also released an ad targeting swing states, emphasizing the events of January 6 and the need to protect democracy.
Impact of Democracy as a Political Issue
Democracy played a significant role in the 2022 midterms, with voters considering it an important factor in their decision-making process. Democratic candidates benefited from this focus on democracy, despite poor perceptions of Biden’s job performance. According to the survey AP VoteCast, Democratic congressional candidates led among voters who believed the future of democracy was crucial. This indicates that concerns about democracy may influence voters in the upcoming election.
Punishment for Election Deniers
Republican candidates who deny or question the legitimacy of the 2020 election faced consequences at the ballot box. Out of nearly 300 GOP candidates, only 10 were successful in competitive races. Some prominent 2022 losers, such as Kari Lake and Joe Kent, are attempting to run again, but their previous election denials may hinder their chances of success.
The Question of Pardons for Capitol Rioters
Both Trump and other Republicans have floated the possibility of pardoning individuals involved in the January 6 riot. However, this is not a popular stance among the general public. A Suffolk University/USA Today poll found that the majority of voters believe the Justice Department’s prosecutions of the rioters are appropriate. Only a small minority feel that these prosecutions should be reversed, although a majority of Republicans hold this view.
The Broader Electorate’s Perception
While Trump may have been successful in swaying GOP voters, the broader electorate is less likely to overlook the events of January 6. The impact of the Capitol riot and Trump’s actions leading up to it will likely have a significant influence on the November election.
Read More of this Story at www.politico.com – 2024-01-06 12:00:00
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