BOSTON (CBS) -- As the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump gets underway, a new CBS News poll finds much stronger public support for conviction than the first time around. The national survey found 56% favor convicting Trump for his role in the insurrection attempt at the Capitol, while 44% oppose it.
Support for conviction last year never rose above 50%.
But that doesn't make a conviction this time more likely. Most of the 20 Republican senators facing re-election next year are from deep-red states, and the CBS poll shows a vote to convict would be very unpopular there. Seventy-one percent of Republicans say it would be an act of disloyalty, while only 29% say they could accept it as a matter of principle.
Numbers like that will make it awfully hard to find 17 Republicans to vote for removal.
Some Democrats are arguing that even if conviction is unlikely, it's still important to hold the former president accountable for his denial of the election results. But that assumes there are a significant number of minds available to be changed on that score.
Look at what the poll found on the simple question of whether Joe Biden legitimately won the election. Ninety-five percent of Democrats and two-thirds of independents say yes, but after all this time, all the court rulings and certifications by GOP officials, only 34% of Republicans are willing to acknowledge the truth
.In an environment as polarized as this, the idea of "accountability" across party lines almost seems naive.
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