Poll: 56% Favor Trump Conviction in the Senate Impeachment Trial

President Donald Trump gestures as he steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Valley International Airport, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, in Harlingen, Texas. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/AP Photo

A majority of Americans want to see the Senate convict former President Donald Trump, a CBS News/YouGov survey released Tuesday found.

The survey, conducted February 5-8, asked 2,508 U.S. residents if the Senate should convict Trump for the incitement of insurrection, stemming from the riot that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 as members of Congress gathered to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. The survey asked:

As you may know, the House of Representatives impeached Donald Trump for inciting violence against the government of the United States, and now the Senate will hold a trial. Based on what you know so far, what do you think the Senate should do in that trial?

A majority, or 56 percent, said the Senate should convict Trump, while 44 percent said lawmakers should not convict the former president.

The survey also found the same majority of voters, 56 percent, believe Trump’s words and actions leading up to the protest “encouraged violence at the Capitol.” Thirty-one percent said his words and actions had no impact, and 13 percent said Trump’s conduct “discouraged” violence.

Democrats are far more likely to say Trump encouraged violence at the Capitol, 88 percent to the 21 percent of Republicans who expressed the same belief.

The survey also found that 59 percent view the trial as “holding Trump accountable,” while 58 percent say it is constitutional, and 55 percent say it is “defending democracy.” However, 57 percent also say that it serves as a “distraction from other issues,” followed by 46 percent who say it is “unnecessary because Trump is out of office.”

When asked who they would be more likely to support in future Senate elections, 55 percent said they would more likely support a candidate who voted to convict Trump, compared to 45 percent who indicated otherwise.

The survey’s margin of error is +/- 2.3 percent and coincides with a Gallup survey released Monday, showing 52 percent of U.S. adults supporting a conviction in the Senate.

The Senate impeachment trial will begin Tuesday at 1 p.m. and start with a four-hour debate over the constitutionality of the trial.

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