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Republicans still back Trump but don't want GOP to punish disloyalty - CBS News poll

Giuliani expected to speak to January 6 panel
Rep. Adam Kinzinger weighs in on January 6 investigation 05:54

Just over a year since the assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, Republicans mostly still support Donald Trump, but it appears as if many would have their party put that day behind them and talk about other issues.

Many in the GOP don't want the party to take a position on it at all. And while the former president remains a popular figure among the base, the entire rank and file isn't entirely falling into line. In fact, a sizable majority approve of former Vice President Mike Pence's adherence to constitutional procedure that day, and few want to see the party punish Republicans it considers disloyal to Trump.


Rather than directly punish Republicans perceived to be disloyal to Trump, Republicans say the party should perhaps take a different approach — like supporting these incumbents' opponents in primaries. And about half would simply accept these other views within the party, rather than punishing them.

Few Republicans want to see the party take a position of outright support of those who forced their way into the Capitol. A 44% plurality of Republicans say the party shouldn't take a position on these January 6 participants, and a similar number say it should be critical of them.

In addition to staying neutral, Republicans by and large simply don't want political leaders to talk about January 6. Instead, it's the economy, inflation, crime and policing, and immigration that top their list of issues leaders should be discussing.


Seven in 10 Republicans say Congress should drop their investigation into whether public officials had a role in the events of January 6. This number has grown somewhat since just six weeks ago — a mirror image of other Americans, seven in 10 of whom want Congress to investigate.


At the same time, a large majority of Republicans approve of the actions taken by former Vice President Pence in following the procedure described in the Constitution for opening and counting states' votes. There's some ambivalence here, with half saying they approve of Trump's pressuring him to overturn the election (those who do are split on Pence's actions). That said, a four-in-10 plurality more clearly take the former vice president's side, both approving of his actions and disapproving of the pressure Trump exerted on him.


The Trump impact

About seven in 10 Republicans say Trump should run for president again in 2024. Among the most common reasons they cite are that he's the best candidate Republicans have and that he would win. Fewer, but still about half, say he deserves another chance.


The former president's influence extends to the kinds of candidates Republicans want in future elections. A large majority would prefer candidates similar to him in their policies and proposals. Solid majorities would like compatible views on coronavirus vaccines and the 2020 election. On the other hand, only half say they would want candidates similar to Trump in how they handle themselves personally.


One of Trump's ideas that finds favor within the party is his recent suggestion about pardoning people who forced their way into the Capitol on January 6. Six in 10 Republicans would support such pardons, putting them starkly at odds with the rest of the country.

Republicans' sympathetic stance to the January 6 protesters is very much connected to lasting concerns about the election. Many Republicans still say widespread voter fraud and irregularities occurred, a false and debunked claim that at least six in 10 have nevertheless endorsed over the past year.


This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,578 U.S. adult residents interviewed between February 8-11, 2022. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as to 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error is ±2.2 points.


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