A majority of Americans believe Donald Trump should be disqualified from standing for public office under a post-Civil War Amendment Clause, a new poll has found.
Donald Trump: Now on the Ballot?
The idea of banning Donald Trump from the ballot in next year’s primaries was first raised by two conservative scholars in August.
They cited Section Three of the 14th Amendment, also known as the disqualification clause, which bars anyone from holding office if they have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States having taken the oath of office.
Only used once in the past century, the clause has never been used to disqualify someone running for presidential election. Trump, while facing charges for his alleged role in the January 6 Capitol riots, has not been found guilty by a court of law.
Secretaries of State from both parties have been exploring the relevant section and whether it applies to the former president.
Most are hesitant, believing it should be decided by courts rather than government officials, but growing pressure from an unusual collaboration of liberals and anti-Trump conservatives have been toying with the idea.
The Politico Poll
In one of the first studies focused on the 14th Amendment, a Politico/Morning Consult poll found that 63% of respondents support Section Three of the 14th Amendment, with majorities among Democrats, Republicans and independents. Just 16% said they somewhat or strongly oppose it.
The bipartisanism ends there. When asked whether they believed Donald Trump had “engaged in insurrection or rebellion,” 51% said he definitely or probably has, compared to 35% who disagreed. Four-fifths of Democrats (79%) responded yes, while almost half of independents (49%) answered similarly.
In contrast, less than a quarter of Republicans agreed, with similar margins seen when asked if the former president gave “aid and/or comfort” to those who engaged in January 6.
The final question, on whether Trump should be disqualified from holding office, largely matched the previous responses expressing an identical partisan divide.
Leave It To The Courts
Secretaries of State across the nation are yet to make a formal move to block Trump from the ballot.
“The United States Supreme Court is the appropriate place to resolve this issue. The bottom line is it’s not about us at all. It doesn’t matter what a secretary of state does because we expect the Supreme Court to be the final arbiter,” Democratic Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson told POLITICO earlier this month.
Conservatives, three of whom were appointed by Trump, hold a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court. Any decision to block Donald Trump will undoubtedly be appealed by his campaign. Trump’s team has previously described the move as a “political attack” that was “stretching the law beyond recognition.”
With deadlines to get on ballots fast approaching, Secretaries have called for urgency on a decision given the mammoth logistical and administrative task of organizing an election.
The poll was conducted Sept. 23-25, surveying 1,967 registered voters online. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
From the Vault