Over the course of the week, Republicans acted as if the FBI’s search at Mar-a-Lago was a political winner for Donald Trump and his allies. To hear GOP officials tell it, mainstream Americans were reflexively repulsed by the idea of federal law enforcement holding the former president accountable for wrongdoing.
On a conservative media outlet yesterday, Kimberly Guilfoyle, identified as a senior advisor to the former president, made the case that the United States had rallied behind Trump this week.
That’s not quite right. Politico reported on its latest national poll, conducted with Morning Consult.
Just about half of registered voters approve of the FBI search of Trump’s Florida compound. Predictably, those numbers diverge a bit when broken down by party affiliation — with an overwhelming majority of Democrats approving, and a strong contingent of Republicans disapproving.
According to the published data, 49 percent of the public approved of the FBI’s decision to conduct a search warrant on Mar-a-Lago, while 37 percent did not. As is usually the case, the partisan gap was enormous: 84 percent of Democrats endorsed Monday’s developments, while 72 percent of Republicans did not.
Attitudes among independents, meanwhile, largely mirrored the overall national results.
If GOP officials thought their pushback against Monday's developments were winning over wide swaths of the public, they now know better.
The same survey found that a combined 58 percent majority of Americans believe Trump, while in office, broke the law. Oddly enough, 24 percent of Republican voters — roughly one in four — came to the same conclusion.
Politico’s write-up on the results added, “As for what this all means politically, it appears that Trump is benefitting from a small rally-around-the-flag effect among Republicans.”
In other words, when Team Trump says Americans have rallied in support of the former president, what they appear to mean is that Republicans have done so.