Democrats overwhelmingly support the prosecution of Rick Perry, but independents do not
On August 15th a Travis County grand jury indicted Texas Governor Rick Perry with two felony charges of abuse of power. The prosecution was prompted after local district attorney and head of a state corruption unit Rosemary Lehmberg was arrested and imprisoned for 45 days for drunk driving. Governor Perry threatened to cut state funding to her office unless Lehmberg, a Democrat, resigned. She refused to do so and a county prosecutor has alleged that his threat to cut funding constitutes an abuse of power. The prosecution has been attacked for being politically motivated, but the move may backfire as even many Democratic politicians and liberal commentators have condemned the prosecution.
YouGov's latest research shows that the public is far more divided over the prosecution of Rick Perry than commentators. 40% of Americans approve of the decision to persue criminal charges against Perry, while 37% disapprove. Opinions on the man himself are similarly split, though opinions tend to be unfavorable (39%) rather than favorable (31%).
Most Democrats (66%) support prosecutors charging Perry with abuse of power, while only 13% disagree. Independents tend to disapprove (42%) rather than approve (32%) of the charges, while Republicans overwhelmingly (67%) oppose the prosecution.
The prosecution may actually turn out to be a positive for Perry's political chances. A pro-Perry PAC has already begun raising funds by selling T-shirts with the Governor's mugshot printed on them along with 'WANTED: for securing the border and defeating Democrats".
Full poll results can be found here.