With only a week left in the Trump Administration, President Donald Trump is facing impeachment once again. Following his struggles to overturn the victory of President-elect Joe Biden, his resistance to conceding, and the charge that his rhetoric inflamed his supporters to engage in a violent takeover of the US Capitol, it is no surprise that Americans in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll have given him low ratings for his handling of the presidential transition.
Last week, only a third of the country (32%) approved of how the President was handling the transition. But that percentage is even lower now, with just a quarter (23%) approving. Republican approval has dropped the most — 16 points in the last week, from 64% to 48%.
Biden’s transition approval rating has hardly changed. More than half this week (54%) approve of his handling of the transition, compared to 53% last week.
Republicans still have doubts about the election results: three-quarters 76%) continue to believe there was enough fraud to change the outcome, and two-thirds (67%) support the objections made to the certification of Electoral College results by Republicans in Congress.
But they are finally accepting that Biden will be president. This week, more than three in five Republicans (62%) believe Joe Biden will be inaugurated on January 20. Last week, fewer than half (42%) thought that would happen.
The public is closely divided on what should happen next. About half (48%) say President Trump should resign, while 42% disagree. A similar number (48%) would remove him from office, though 44% would not. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to want President Trump removed in his final days.
There is little support when it comes to the president attempting to use his pardon power to pardon himself, something he is reportedly considering in his last days in office. One in four (24%) believe Trump should be able to pardon himself, but twice as many (56%) do not. By two to one, Republicans would support a presidential self-pardon (51% vs 24%).
However, Americans aren’t sure the President can pardon himself. Just one in five (17%) believe he can do so. Even those who voted for the President don’t believe he has the power to pardon himself. A quarter (25%) of Trump voters believe he has that power, while 36% don’t think a self-pardon is possible.
Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 US Adult Citizens interviewed online between January 10 - 12, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3.6% for the overall sample.