Two-thirds of Americans think Jan 6. charges are serious, less than half say Trump should drop out

ABC News/Ipsos is the first outlet out of the gate with polling on Donald Trump’s latest indictment, this time for his 2020 election interference which culminated in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The element that stands out most in the new polling is tribalism: Only a minority of Republicans think the Jan. 6 charges are serious and a tiny group of them thinks he should be charged.

While nearly two-thirds of the voters surveyed—65%—think the charges are serious, just 38% of Republicans think so, and just 14% of Republicans think he should be charged with a crime.

Discouragingly, only 52% of the total surveyed believe Trump should be facing criminal charges for everything he did leading up to and on Jan. 6. That’s down from a June 2022 ABC News/Ipsos poll conducted during the Jan. 6 committee hearings. In that survey, 58% agreed that, “Trump bears a good or great amount of responsibility for the events of Jan 6 and that he should be charged with a crime.”

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In addition, just under half of all voters in the new poll—49%—think that Trump should suspend his campaign. A similar number, 46%, think the charges against Trump are politically motivated. Republican talking points about the Biden administration targeting Trump are clearly permeating the populace. In contrast, 60% of those surveyed last year thought that the congressional committee was conducting a fair and impartial investigation.

That’s as much a condemnation of the narrative the national media has been pushing as anything, including the fact that the poll and the ABC News story that goes with it also include questions about President Joe Biden’s approval ratings and, more problematically, the Hunter Biden investigation.

About one-third of this story is about about Biden’s low approvals (33% to Trump’s 30%) and his son Hunter Biden, including whether Biden should be investigated for impeachment over it (39% say yes) and whether they have confidence that the “Justice Department is handling its ongoing investigation of Hunter Biden in a fair and nonpartisan manner”; 46% say they are not.

That poll and the accompanying story are effectively equating Hunter Biden’s legal problems with Trump’s. The article provides absolutely no context or explanation of the fact that House Republicans have come up with exactly nothing in their extensive and ridiculous investigation of Hunter Biden. The media is treating a conspiracy theory cooked up by Rudy Giuliani and his cohorts—that was proven to be bullshit even before the 2020 election—as equivalent to the very real allegations of a conspiracy by Donald Trump and his team to steal the election and violently overthrow the government.

This persistent reporting trend perpetuates a vicious cycle of both-sidesing the news that could end very badly for all of us.

Conservatives cried about how the “woke” (whatever that means) “Barbie” movie would fail. It didn’t. In fact, the film has struck a chord with American and international audiences. Daily Kos writer Laura Clawson joins Markos to talk about the film and the implications of the Republican Party’s fixation on mythical culture wars, which is failing them in bigger and bigger ways every day.