Axios: Jun 19, 2022 – Politics & Policy
6 in 10 Americans now say Trump should be charged for Jan. 6, poll finds
Nearly six in 10 Americans think former President Donald Trump should be charged with a crime for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to an ABC News/Ipsos poll.
The big picture: The findings represent a slight increase since the start of a series of public hearings by the House special committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Driving the news: 58% of those surveyed think the former president should be charged with a crime for his role in the riot, according to the poll conducted on June 17 and 18.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll from April found that 52% thought Trump should be charged, while a poll from the same organizations in January 2021 found that 54% believed he should be charged.
More details: The same portion of Americans (58%) think Trump bears either a great deal or a good amount of responsibility for the events of Jan. 6, the June poll revealed.
Sixty percent of Americans also believe the Jan. 6 committee is conducting a fair and impartial investigation.
However, only 34% of Americans said they were watching the committee’s hearings very or somewhat closely.
The Texas GOP’s convention in Houston ended by finalizing 275 planks in its party platform which aren’t laws but serve are directions or instruction for elected republican officials in the state ranging from flood protection to putting the possibility of Texas seceding from the United States on the ballot.
The Texas GOP website went offline Monday morning and was still not working by 5 p.m. A Texas GOP spokesperson said too much media attention and increased traffic forced the site offline.
One plank in the platform that generated an immense response was stating, “Homosexuality is an abnormal lifestyle choice” and saying there should be no civil or criminal penalty for people who oppose homosexuality.
“It sounds like the greatest hits of the 1980s but there’s no Michael Jackson or Rick Astley,” said Rafael McDonnell, the senior advocacy, policy and communications director at Dallas-based Resource Center.
Resource Center provides services and programs for LGBTQ+ communities across the area. McDonnell says the party should be focusing time and energy on pressing state issues instead of playing to its base.
“They are saying out loud what they were saying quietly back when we had the marriage rulings, when we had the striking down of the sodomy statutes. They’ve never really changed who they are,” he said. “It is embarrassing that a major political party is wasting its time with this sort of stuff but it’s a base election.”
The party platform also notably includes the disproven claim that the 2020 election had “substantial fraud” and says President Joe Biden “was not legitimately elected”.
Last week, congressional hearings on the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot showed officials for former President Donald Trump stating claims of voter fraud were false.
Riddlesperger and SMU political science professor Cal Jillson both say the platform is a way to try to energize the base with the hope independents either forget or aren’t paying attention.
“They can make these dramatic statements for their base and depend on the fact that relatively few Texans will know about it or remember it come election day,” Jillson said. “Most voters, a week from now or two weeks from now will not be able to tell you a single plank in the republican platform.”
“Every candidate will take a look at this platform and see what parts of this they can use to their advantage and what parts they will ignore or even disavow in some cases,” Riddlesperger said.
The platform also both supported banning the teaching of sex education while at the same time endorsing teaching that life begins at fertilization.
It also stated support for repealing both gun laws and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that outlaws discrimination in voting. Sen. John Cornyn was booed while speaking at the convention and rebuked in the party platform. Rep. Dan Crenshaw was also booed, and Gov. Greg Abbott didn’t attend.
“It’s radical but it’s also a crystal-clear expression of the republican activist’s base’s view of the world,” Jillson said. “Until democrats can defeat them, they’re going to continue to feed their activist base.”
In a month, Texas Democrats will host a convention in Dallas. Jillson says while the Republican planks may not be popular with independents, they’re gaining traction partly because they’re digestible.
“Voters listen to that and they understand it. When democrats try to take an alternative view that takes paragraphs to explain, they’re in big trouble,” he said. “Republican advantage of simplicity.
Democrat detriment of complexity.”