U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, D.C., October 18, 2019.
Leah Millis | Reuters
A CNBC survey conducted in the days before former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial finds a large share of Republicans want him to remain head of their party, but a majority of Americans want him out of politics.
The CNBC All-America Economic Survey shows 54% of Americans want Trump “to remove himself from politics entirely.” That was the sentiment of 81% of Democrats and 47% of Independents, but only 26% of Republicans.
When it comes to Republicans, 74% want him to stay active in some way, including 48% who want him to remain head of the Republican party, 11% who want him to start a third party and 12% who say he should remain active in politics but not as head of any party.
“If we’re talking about Donald Trump’s future, at the moment, the survey shows he still has this strong core support within his own party who really want him to continue to be their leader,” said Jay Campbell, a partner with Hart Research and the Democratic pollster for the survey.
But Micah Roberts, the survey’s Republican pollster, and a partner with Public Opinion Strategies, emphasized the change from when Trump was president. Polls prior to the election regularly showed Trump with GOP approval ratings around 90%, meaning at least some Republicans have defected from Trump.
The online poll of 1,000 Americans nationwide has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5%. It was conducted Feb. 2-7, before Trump’s trial in the Senate for insurrection and fomenting the riots of Jan. 6 at the Capitol. In the unlikely event of conviction, Trump could be barred by the Senate from ever holding Federal public office again.
The poll shows Trump retains strong support among Americans without college degrees, a key demographic for the GOP: 89% of the group want him to remain in politics, including 52% who want him to remain head of the Republican party. That’s the highest percentage of any group, and a potential warning sign for Republican Party leaders should they choose to vote to convict Trump.