Fifty percent of Americans say they believe Donald Trump will go down in history as a “failed” president, according to a new opinion poll.
Asked how they thought history would judge Trump's presidency, 50 percent of respondents surveyed in the USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll said he will be seen as a “failed” president.
Only 16 percent of Americans predicted Trump will be seen as a great president, 13 percent as a good president and 16 percent as a fair president. Five percent were undecided.
Trump’s supporters appeared to be in denial of the unpopularity of a president who lost reelection by more than 7 million votes.
“I'll tell you what, 50 years out, Trump will be much better regarded than he is at the current time,” said David Cheff, 73, a Trump voter from Jacksonville, Florida. With the passage of time, he said, “Trump will look decent, for sure.”
The survey, conducted in the waning weeks of Trump’s administration, shows Americans are by and large wary of some of the actions the Republican president has taken as he prepares to leave the White House following a tumultuous election, which he has claimed was rigged against him.
Americans overwhelmingly say the idea of Trump issuing a preemptive pardon for himself would be an abuse of presidential power-- 62 percent to 25 percent who said it was appropriate.
Americans, like on many issues, were divided on this along party lines. Most Republicans – 56 percent to 24 percent -- said Trump pardoning himself would be an appropriate use of his power.
On Tuesday, Trump issued 20 politically charged pardons and commutations of sentences for his allies. More followed on Wednesday when Trump pardoned, among others, his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, his long-time friend and adviser Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, a real estate developer and the father his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
White House officials have indicated that Trump has been contemplating the option of issuing an executive pardon for himself in order to get immunity from potential prosecution once he leaves office.
Still most Republicans – 71 percent-- said they would vote for Trump again if he becomes the party’s nominee in 2024. Another 16 percent said they would consider it, while 10 percent said they would not vote for him again.
Much of Trump’s energy and time since the election has been spent seeking ways to overturn the results, making allegations of widespread fraud.
The president’s legal challenges against the election has failed in court but succeeded in sowing doubts about the legitimacy of his opponent’s victory. More than a third of Americans – including 78 percent of Republicans—said they believed Democrat Joe Biden did not legitimately win the presidency.
“Never ever, ever happened,” Allen Matthews, 42, a tech engineer and a political independent from Lone Tree, Colorado, said of Biden's election. “There's absolutely no way that's possible,” he said. “So, no, I don't believe it was legitimate at all.”
Still a majority of Americans said Trump should attend the inauguration of President-elect Biden next month. There was no partisan divide on that question, with 65 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of Republicans saying Trump should attend the event.
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