Poll: Republicans want Trump playing big role, but most Americans don’t

Trump Opens , 'Office of the Former President' , in Florida .Former President Trump opened the office in Palm Beach County on Monday.It will handle his "correspondence, public statements, appearances, and official activities, ...".... "advance the interests of the United States and … carry on the agenda of the Trump Administration through advocacy, organizing, and public activism.".The office's creation comes as the House delivered an impeachment charge of "incitement of insurrection" against Trump to the Senate.The Senate trial, making Trump the first former president to face impeachment, will start the week of Feb. 8.According to Jason Miller, Trump's 2020 campaign senior adviser, .the former president is currently focused on helping Republicans regain the House and Senate in the 2022 midterm elections

Two days after the U.S. Senate acquitted Donald Trump in his historic second impeachment trial, three out of four Republicans said they would like to see the former president play a prominent role in the GOP.

That’s according to a Quinnipiac University national poll of 1,056 adults released Monday. However, overall, 60% of Americans don’t want Trump to play a big role in the party, compared with 34% who do. And most of those polled said Trump didn’t do enough to stop the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riots and don’t believe he should be allowed to run for public office again.

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The poll was conducted Feb. 11-14 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

“He may be down, but he is certainly not out of favor with the GOP,” said Tim Malloy, a Quinnipiac University polling analyst. “Twice impeached, vilified by Democrats in the trial, and virtually silenced by social media, but despite it all, Donald Trump keeps a solid foothold in the Republican Party.”

The poll also showed deep divisions of opinion between Democrats and Republicans. An overwhelming 96% of Democrats surveyed said they don’t want Trump to have a prominent role in the GOP, while independents voted the same way, but at 61% to 32%.

Most Americans (55% to 43%) said Trump should not be allowed to hold elected office in the future, while 87% of Republicans said he should.

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In late 2019, the Democrat-led U.S. House impeached Trump on two charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The GOP-led Senate acquitted Trump on both charges in February 2020. Prior to Trump, only Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton had been impeached. Both were also acquitted by the Senate.

The latest impeachment charge — authored by U.S. Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Ted Lieu of California — alleged Trump incited the violence that led to a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. One Capitol Police officer, Brian David Sicknick, died from injuries suffered in the riot. One protester — Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, 35, who was a 14-year U.S. Air Force veteran — was shot to death during the protest.

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The Senate voted 57 guilty and 43 not guilty, with Trump acquitted because two-thirds didn’t find him guilty. Seven Republicans joined with Democrats to convict the former president, but that still fell short of the 67 votes needed to convict.

“The history books may recount the Senate choosing not to deliver a lethal blow to Trump’s political career,” Malloy said. “But the second paragraph may well underscore the voting public’s willingness to let that happen.”

More than half of Americans (54% to 43%) believe Trump was responsible for inciting violence against the U.S. government, and when asked a follow-up question, 45% of Americans believe Trump is responsible and should face criminal charges. Six percent believe he is responsible but should not face criminal charges, and 43% say Trump is not responsible for inciting violence.

Nearly seven out of 10 Americans (68%) think Trump didn’t do everything he could to stop the Jan. 6 riot, while 25% say he did everything he could to stop it.

”Did the former president drop the ball on controlling the insurrection? Most assuredly, say the majority of Americans, fresh off hearings that brought visual proof of the mayhem on January 6,” said Malloy.

A new ABC News/Ipsos poll over the weekend showed more than half of Americans (58%) believe Trump should have been convicted. Last year, after Trump was acquitted in his first Senate impeachment trial, Americans were evenly split on the outcome, with 49% approving of the Senate’s judgment and 47% disapproving, according to a Monmouth University poll.

Undeterred, friends and allies expect Trump to resume friendly media interviews after weeks of silence. He has met with political aides to discuss efforts to help Republicans try to take control of the House and Senate in the 2022 midterm elections. He remains fixated on exacting revenge on Republicans who supported his impeachment or resisted his efforts to overturn the results of the November election won by Democrat Joe Biden.

“I imagine you’ll probably be hearing a lot more from him in the coming days,” senior adviser Jason Miller said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who spoke with Trump on Saturday night, acknowledged Trump is “mad at some folks” but also “ready to move on and rebuild the Republican Party” and “excited about 2022.”

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