This one might surprise you. The findings of a new survey revealed that a significant number of Democratic voters would support the next president issuing a pardon for former President Donald Trump if he is convicted by the Justice Department.
A majority of voters, as revealed in a survey by Harvard-Harris, believe that former President Donald Trump should be pardoned if he is convicted and sentenced to jail for mishandling classified documents. The poll showed that 53 percent of respondents were in favor of a potential presidential pardon, while 47 percent were against it. The issue of pardoning Trump is largely divided along party lines, with 80 percent of Republicans in favor compared to only 30 percent of Democrats.
In a separate poll, 64 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning respondents indicated their continued support for Trump if he participates in the 2024 presidential race. However, 56 percent of respondents in the same poll believed that Trump should drop out of the running. President Joe Biden is running for reelection, potentially setting up a rematch with Trump if he becomes the Republican nominee. Biden commented that the nature of his campaign would depend on “who the nominee is.”
These findings present an intriguing insight into the political landscape and raise questions about the motivations behind such sentiments.
At first glance, the results don’t seem too surprising. The notion that most Republicans would want Trump pardoned, considering the fact that this indictment, along with others, is clearly motivated by politics. It does not take a rocket scientist to see that these legal actions are an effort to influence the outcome of the upcoming presidential election. It is also not surprising that a majority of Democrats would disagree with pardoning the former president, considering that he was their boogeyman for several years.
But what about the 30 percent of Democrats who indicated they believe Trump should be pardoned? The reality that almost one-third of Democratic voters would support such a move is striking considering today’s political climate. The fact that a notable portion of Democrats supports pardoning Trump, despite their personal dislike for him, might suggest a suspicion of political motivation behind the Justice Department’s indictment. Perhaps some folks are willing to separate their personal opinions about Trump from their assessment of the charges brought against him.
It is also worth speculating that many of these people, even if they dislike Trump and believe he was in the wrong, do not believe that his alleged offense rises to the level of jail time or other serious punishment. If the Justice Department is unable to pin anything on the former president that is not worse than Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, then it might make sense for some Democrats to assume that Trump should get the same lenient treatment.
Another survey conducted recently showed a plurality of Americans perceiving the indictment against Trump as politically motivated while still advocating for his prosecution, highlighting a curious phenomenon. It suggests that a substantial number of citizens are not only aware of potential political motivations behind prosecutions but are also willing to accept them. This acceptance of political prosecutions, despite concerns about impartiality, may be a reflection of the deep polarization and partisan divisions within society, where individuals prioritize the punishment of political opponents over concerns about potential abuse of power. But in Trump’s case, at least some Democrats are able to see that his legal troubles are more about politics than about justice.