Trump's Voter Base Stands By Him Despite Deadly Capitol Violence

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President Trump speaks during a rally protesting the electoral college certification of Joe Biden as president on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Evan Vucci/AP)
President Trump speaks during a rally protesting the electoral college certification of Joe Biden as president on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Evan Vucci/AP)

Ten Republican House representatives joined with every Democrat to impeach the president a second time on Wednesday, but Trump's voter base is standing by him despite last week's deadly violence at the Capitol.

That's according to new survey data from pollster Frank Luntz, who found 91% of 800 people who voted for Trump in November said they would vote for him again.

But that’s not the most striking statistic in the survey, Luntz claims. Exactly 50% of people who voted for Trump in 2020 want him to continue to contest the election results, his survey discovered.

“They are not giving up. They are standing behind him,” Luntz says. “And this is a pretty angry group of people who are very concerned about the days, weeks and months to follow.”

Interview Highlights

On whether he was surprised by the survey results

“I was shocked, but after doing a focus group [Thursday] night, I realized that they don't blame him for what happened in the Capitol. They don't hold him accountable for the things that he has said or things that he has done, that somehow they've managed to suspend reality.

“And I don't want to criticize all of them because this isn't all of them. But the polling showed 60% believe that they will never trust an election again, 67% believe that the election was stolen and 73% have a similar point of view — that if all the votes have been counted accurately, that Donald Trump would have won. Those numbers are going up, not down. There are more and more Trump people who are rejecting the results today than 30 days or 60 days ago.”

On how this impacts the political process

“This is not the first time this has happened. Back in 2000, about 30% of the Democrats did not believe that George W. Bush had defeated Al Gore. But that was half of what we have right now, and you didn't have the same kind of intensity, the same kind of passion.

“And last [Thursday] night in this focus group, we found that there was no desire from Trump voters to get along with the Democrats, no desire to work together. And when you add that up, the polling data in the focus group data, you've got 46% of the country who voted for Trump feeling like they've been robbed, like they've been mistreated, and it's going to take years to bring these people back into the political process again.”

On why many Trump supporters refuse to come to terms with the presidential election results

“I will admit that I got agitated with the respondents yesterday, and that's not my job, I need to listen to them. But I heard quite clearly they don't trust the media at all. Many of them have come not to trust Fox News. So the only people they’re hearing from is Donald Trump, until his Twitter got shut down, and maybe OAN and Newsmax. But they're getting no information whatsoever that challenges their beliefs, and most of their friends are Trump voters. We found that out in the survey. So it's this echo chamber, this reinforcement day by day that makes them more and more intent. And this is very problematic. … We should be afraid as a country.”

Chris Bentley produced and edited this interview for broadcast with Tinku RaySerena McMahon adapted it for the web.

This segment aired on January 15, 2021.


Peter O'Dowd Senior Editor, Here & Now
Peter O’Dowd has a hand in most parts of Here & Now — producing and overseeing segments, reporting stories and occasionally filling in as host. He came to Boston from KJZZ in Phoenix.



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