Nice Polls: Majority Wants Trump Convicted, Only Small Minority Actually Loves QAnon
It's February, and for many of us, that means cold weather and snow and sinus headaches and feeling supremely annoyed with practically everything on earth. So we might as well start the week off on a high note, no?
A poll conducted by ABC News/Ipsos and published on Sunday says 56 percent of the country would like for Donald Trump to be convicted and barred from holding office in his upcoming impeachment trial. That's nice! Another poll, conducted by Reuters/Ipsos and also released on Sunday showed a smaller majority, but a majority nonetheless, of 51 percent of Americans wanting to see him convicted for inciting the January 6 storming of the Capitol.
What does that mean? It means that despite appearances to the contrary, most Americans do not totally suck. At least not in the way that they think Donald Trump should get away with attempting to incite a coup. It would be lovely if it were even more than that, but we've all learned to temper our expectations over the last four years. Still, things are improving.
Compared to public attitudes in the early days of his first impeachment trial, support for the Senate convicting Trump is higher now. In an ABC News/Washington Post poll published in late January 2020, when the first trial was ongoing but before senators had voted, 47% of Americans said the Senate should vote to remove Trump from office and 49% said he should not be removed.
The Reuters poll found that although only 51 percent supported convicting Trump, 55 percent believed he should be barred from holding office again, and only 34 percent said they believed he should be able to.
Another 37% said Trump should not be convicted and the remaining 12% said they were unsure.
When asked about the former Republican president's political future, 55% said Trump should not be allowed to hold elected office again, while 34% said he should be allowed to do so and 11% said they were unsure.
Senators would actually have to convict Trump to bar him from holding office, but that poll result is certainly better than "Oh, sure, let that guy run for office again, the one who got five people killed by telling his supporters to go to the Capitol and gave Republican lawmakers the courage they needed to overturn the election." Also the fact that only 37 percent think he should definitely not be convicted is pretty nice. Though it does make the MyPillow Guy's claim that Trump actually won every single state in a landslide even more dubious sounding than it previously did.
In other nice poll news, a CNN analysis suggests support for QAnon bullshit seems to be decreasing.
Last month, the NBC News poll asked voters whether they had positive, negative, neutral or no views of QAnon. A mere 2% held positive views. The rest were either negative (42%), neutral (11%), or weren't sure or didn't know (45%). Keep in mind here that this poll was taken after the US Capitol insurrection, when many blamed QAnon for spreading misinformation that in part led to the event.
The insurrection and other events over the last few months (including Trump's defeat in the November election) seem in aggregate to have made QAnon even more unpopular than it was. While the percentage who weren't sure or didn't know dropped from 56% in September to 45% in January, the positive views of QAnon went from 3% to 2%. Meanwhile, the negative views jumped from 30% to 42%. Neutral is still at 11%. [...]
Last September, the Pew Research Center, using an online panel, asked people whether they had heard of QAnon and whether it was a good or bad thing for the country. This is a somewhat different question from the positive and negative question, but it gets at the same idea. A mere 9% of people said they had heard of QAnon and thought it was a good thing for the country. Another 35% said they heard of it and it was a bad thing. The rest weren't sure what it was or refused to answer.
While it's clear that many followers are still "trusting in the plan" — and that many people believe in Q-adjacent bullshit like the "Save the Children" movement without fully understanding it is Q-adjacent bullshit — this still seems to be a positive development.
Although much of the decrease is attributable to the insurrection and to Trump's defeat -- thus making Q's predictions and promises of mass arrests fall flat — I think a decent amount of it is because are overall less "weird" than they were and that the stakes seem a little lower. I think even for people who loved Donald Trump, the idea of him actually becoming president of the United States felt like a bizarre, surreal thing, and when the bizarre and surreal becomes commonplace, it becomes easier to believe bizarre and surreal things. In a world where Trump can be president and spend all day tweeting asinine things and throwing tantrums like a tyrant, what could possibly be considered beyond the pale?
This shouldn't be misconstrued as proof that the wacky people are getting less wacky — those who believe in Q and who love Trump do so with extreme intensity — but it does indicate that perhaps the spread may be slowing.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse