New polling by the Economist/YouGov conducted just after Donald Trump's recent indictment finds that about one-quarter of Americans (24%) strongly or somewhat approve of Trump taking presidential records with him from the White House to his private residence after leaving office — an action that sparked an ongoing investigation by the Justice Department into his handling of classified materials.
Compared to last August, approval of Trump’s actions has fallen 8 percentage points. The most notable drop in approval (14 points) was among Republicans: Currently, 39% approve of Trump taking the records, while last August, 53% did.
About two in five Republicans (38%) believe that Trump taking classified documents was unintentional; just 7% of Democrats say that. About half of Republicans (53%) believe Trump has cooperated with the investigation, and 72% of Republicans do not think he should face any criminal charges.
By 53% to 36%, Americans approve of Trump being indicted last week for his handling of classified materials and obstruction of justice. The vast majority of Democrats (85%) approve, compared to 53% of Independents and 18% of Republicans.
Majorities of Democrats and Republicans think that a president taking classified documents with them after leaving office is a very or somewhat serious matter: 91% of Democrats and 56% of Republicans believe that.
- Most Americans think Trump intentionally took classified documents with him after leaving office
- Most Americans say Trump taking classified materials to Florida is wrong
- More Americans say Biden and Pence have cooperated with classified documents than say Trump has
- More Americans approve of the investigation into Biden's document handling than Trump's
- How do Americans evaluate Trump's and Clinton's security violations?
Methodology: Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2019 American Community Survey. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification, and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to November 1, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (33% Democratic, 31% Republican). The margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 3%.
Image: Getty (Win McNamee)