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On the Mar-a-Lago search, polls contradict Team Trump assumptions

Team Trump keeps saying the American mainstream is outraged by the FBI's Mar-a-Lago search. National polling keeps saying the opposite.


In the wake of the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago search, Donald Trump and his team have made a variety of claims about public attitudes. Polling suggests each of the claims is wrong.

Eric Trump appeared on a conservative outlet last night, for example, and said, in reference to the search, “The whole country is revolting over it.” Kimberly Guilfoyle, identified as a senior advisor to the former president, also recently took to the airwaves, making the case that the United States had rallied behind the Republican as a result of the FBI executing a court-approved search warrant.

But Team Trump’s assumptions about public attitudes are contradicted by actual evidence of public attitudes. NBC News reported on the results of its latest national survey:

A clear majority of American voters believe that the various investigations into alleged wrongdoing by former President Donald Trump should continue, according to a national NBC News poll conducted after the FBI searched Trump’s Florida home and recovered documents marked as “top secret” earlier this month.

According to the results, 57 percent of registered voters agreed that the investigations into Trump’s alleged wrongdoing should continue, while 40 percent said the scrutiny should stop.

Not surprisingly, the partisan gap in the data was enormous — Democratic and GOP voters don’t exactly see eye to eye on the matter — but it’s worth emphasizing that one in five Republicans agreed that the investigations related to the former president should proceed.

So much for the idea that the “whole country is revolting” in response to the FBI executing a search warrant.

What’s more, the results from the NBC News poll do not appear to be an outlier. A YouGov poll released last week found that 54 percent of Americans approved of the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago search, while only 36 percent did not.

The same poll asked respondents whether they approve or disapprove of the Justice Department’s investigation into the former president allegedly taking these materials. The results were similar: A 55 percent majority supported the investigation, while 31 percent opposed it.

The results are roughly in line with a Politico/Morning Consult poll conducted soon after the search, which found that nearly half of Americans — 49 percent — approved of the FBI’s decision to search Mar-a-Lago, while 37 percent did not.

Circling back to our earlier coverage, the results aren’t altogether surprising. Trump is not widely popular, and he’s been accused of serious wrongdoing. It stands to reason that the American mainstream would support an investigation and federal law enforcement executing a court-approved search warrant.

But the fact that the results are predictable doesn’t mean they’re unimportant. For one thing, the data suggests Team Trump’s public-relations offensive hasn’t been especially effective: Rank-and-file Republicans have largely accepted the talking points from the former president and conservative media outlets, but that’s far from a national majority.

For another, the polling evidence suggests that Team Trump’s assumptions are more wishful thinking than honest assessments.