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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Blood on Trump's Hands

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 campaign, where Trump suggested that he would not acknowledge defeat.  His legal challenges to the election of Joseph Biden have toggled between appalling and farcical.    But his base continues to believe the bogus narrative.

Yesterday, his dishonesty and demagoguery ended in violence and death.

Rebecca Tan, Peter Jamison, Carol D. Leonnig, Meagan Flynn and John Woodrow Cox at WP:
As President Trump told a sprawling crowd outside the White House that they should never accept defeat, hundreds of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in what amounted to an attempted coup that they hoped would overturn the election he lost. In the chaos, law enforcement officials said, one woman was shot and killed by Capitol Police.

The violent scene — much of it incited by the president’s incendiary language — was like no other in modern American history, bringing to a sudden halt the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

With poles bearing blue Trump flags, a mob that would eventually grow into the thousands bashed through Capitol doors and windows, forcing their way past police officers unprepared for the onslaught. Lawmakers were evacuated shortly before an armed standoff at the House chamber’s entrance. The woman who was shot was rushed to an ambulance, police said, and later died. Canisters of tear gas were fired across the Rotunda’s white marble floor, and on the steps outside the building, rioters flew Confederate flags.

“USA! USA!” chanted the would-be saboteurs of a 244-year-old democracy.

As of this morning, four people have died. 

Matthew Smith, Jamie Ballard, and Linley Sanders at YouGov:

A YouGov Direct poll of 1,397 registered voters who had heard about the event finds that most (62%) voters perceive these actions as a threat to democracy. Democrats (93%) overwhelmingly see it this way, while most (55%) Independents also agree. Among Republicans, however, only a quarter (27%) think this should be considered a threat to democracy, with two-thirds (68%) saying otherwise.  

In fact, many Republicans (45%) actively support the actions of those at the Capitol, although as many expressed their opposition (43%). 

Among all voters, almost two-thirds (63%) say that they “strongly” oppose the actions taken by President Trump’s supporters, with another 8% say they “somewhat” oppose what has happened.  

Overall, one in five voters (21%) say they support the goings-on at the Capitol. Those who believe that voter fraud took place and affected the election outcome are especially likely to feel that today’s events were justified, at 56%.