Donald Trump Has Polling Issues: NPR has new survey results indicating that most Americans believe the ongoing criminal investigations into former President Donald Trump are legitimate and fair – although the survey indicates a strict partisan divide, with Democrats receptive to the investigations and Republicans indignant.
Trump, of course, is expending considerable energy to frame the ongoing investigations as conspiracies, part of a greater witch hunt – but the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll suggests Trump’s messaging is not sticking.
The survey also gauged Trump’s favorability amongst voters; of the 1,300 voters polled, Donald Trump was found to still be highly popular amongst Republicans – yet struggled amongst the more crucial independent voters. According to the survey, 6 in 10 Americans do not want Trump to be president again.
The survey comes at a precarious time for Donald Trump
The survey results coincide with Trump’s prediction that he will be arrested in connection with the Manhattan District Attorney’s investigation into Trump’s alleged hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Last week came and went without any arrest, but the specter of arrest still looms large over Trump’s ongoing presidential campaign. And the hush money investigation is not some isolated inquiry into Trump’s conduct. Simultaneously, the Department of Justice is conducting two Trump criminal investigations.
The first is examining Trump’s role in the January 6th riots. The second is examining the classified documents found in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
Trump recently addressed the ongoing investigations, during his first presidential campaign rally in Waco, Texas. During the campaign stop, Trump claimed the investigations stemmed from “prosecutorial misconduct” (weirdly enough, Waco is best known, at least in my mind, as the site of the government stand-off with the Branch Davidians, in which government misconduct resulted in the incineration of dozens of innocents.)
“Prosecutorial misconduct is their new tool,” Trump told the crowd, “and they’re willing to use it at levels never seen before in our country. We’ve had it, but we’ve never had it like this. We must stop them and we must not allow them to go through another election where they have yet another tool in their tool kit.”
Reactions fall along partisan lines
But as the NPR survey suggests, Trump’s “prosecutorial misconduct” message is being received with mixed (see partisan) results. Overall, a significant margin (56 percent – to – 41 percent), “respondents said the investigations are fair and not a ‘witch hunt.’” But a closer look reveals a stark contrast between Democrats and Republicans.
“As expected, there’s a huge partisan divide – 9 in 10 Democrats say they are fair, while 8 in 10 Republicans call them a witch hunt. A slim majority of independents call them fair, but they are closely split, 51 percent to 47 percent,” NPR reported.
The results are nothing new. Trump remains popular with his base, with MAGA-Nation. Of course, he does; Trump’s base views Trump as some sort of deity. To the base, half of Trump’s appeal stems from the acceptance of the idea that Donald Trump is a persecuted outsider, sent to Washington to destroy the establishment on behalf of the everyday American. That the establishment would respond with multiple criminal investigations, generated to smear and incarcerate Trump, is the expected result – and only serves to validate the MAGA notion that Trump is the victim here.
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“So Trump remains very popular with the base, but politically toxic with everyone else,” NPR reported.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.