As Greg Sargent reminds us, the vast majority of Republicans are still siding with Donald Trump's coup attempt, and that the chance of more ongoing terrorist violence in the US is near absolute rather than the acceptance of a Biden presidency.
In the wake of President Trump’s incitement of a violent insurrectionist assault on our seat of government, a new Post-ABC News poll offers perhaps the most detailed look yet at public attitudes about the attack and the underlying questions it raises about the stability of our democratic future.
The poll contains good news and bad news. The good news is that large majorities are standing up for democracy and the legitimacy of our election, and believe Trump should be held accountable for inciting violent warfare on our political system and, indeed, on our country.
The bad news is that large majorities of Republicans are very much on board with much of what Trump has done.
First, let’s note that truly overwhelming majorities, including among Republicans, condemn the attack itself. That’s great, but deeper in the crosstabs are some pretty dispiriting findings.
On questions that probe underlying attitudes about Trump’s efforts to undermine democracy, the contrast between the broader public and Republican respondents is stark. Here’s a rundown:
- By 66 percent to 30 percent, overall Americans say Trump acted irresponsibly in his statements and actions since the election. But Republicans say Trump acted responsibly by 66 percent to 29 percent.
- By 62 percent to 31 percent, Americans say there’s no solid evidence of the claims of voter fraud that Trump cited to refuse to accept Joe Biden’s victory. But Republicans say there is solid evidence of fraud by 65 percent to 25 percent.
- 57 percent of Americans say Trump bears a great deal or good amount of responsibility for the assault on the Capitol. But 56 percent of Republicans say Trump bears no responsibility at all, and another 22 percent say he bears just some, totaling 78 percent who largely exonerate him.
- 52 percent of Americans say Republican leaders went too far in supporting Trump’s efforts to overturn the election. But 51 percent of Republicans say GOP leaders didn’t go far enough, while 27 percent say they got it right, a total of 78 percent who are fully on board or wanted more. Only 16 percent of Republicans say they went too far.
On these questions, independents are far more in sync with the broader public: In this poll, support for what Trump did is largely a Republican phenomenon.
Meanwhile, solid majorities of Americans believe Trump should be charged with a crime for inciting the riot (54 percent) and removed from office (56 percent). But among Republicans, opposition to both is running in the mid-80s, demonstrating extraordinary GOP unity against any form of accountability.
To sum up: Large majorities of Republicans support the effort by GOP leaders to overturn the election (which included lawsuits designed to summarily invalidate millions of votes and an extraordinary effort to scuttle Biden’s electors in Congress) and believe (or say they believe) that those GOP leaders were joining Trump’s efforts to correct a confirmed injustice done to him.
The issue is how many of Trump's cultists will choose to turn to violence in order to "correct" the "stolen election" situation that two-thirds of them believe happened.
Even a small percentage would be tens of thousands of terrorists and dozens of attacks, and frankly I expect we'll be lucky to get away with "just an other Nashville-style bombing" per month.
We're in for years of salt and blood.