Suddenly Most Republicans Support Electing A Felon As President

Former President Donald Trump

Forrmer President Donald Trump

A county sheriff in California shared a novel idea with his Instagram followers this week.

"I think it’s time we put a felon in the White House,” Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said, donning his uniform in a video posted to his personal account.

But it turns out Bianco, a Trump supporter, is more of a lagging indicator than a leader. A new YouGov survey published this week found that a majority of Republicans now say they are just fine with electing a criminal president—a wholesale change from their views on the matter before Trump was convicted of 34 felonies.

In April, just 17 percent of Republican voters said convicted criminals "should be allowed" to become president while 58 percent said they should not. But, hey, sometimes life comes at you fast. Now 58 percent of Republicans say felons "should be allowed" to be president, while just 23 percent say they should not.

In April, 37 percent of Republicans also said they wouldn't vote for a convicted felon "under any circumstances." Now just 14 percent say that.

Indeed, Trump's indictment and conviction have been transformative for the Republican electorate. In March 2023, whenRepublicans were asked whether it's a crime for a candidate seeking elected office "to pay someone to remain silent about an issue that may affect the outcome of an election," 73 percent of them said it was a crime. But a month later, following Trump's April 2023 indictment in the hush money case, only 40 percent of Republicans said it's a crime.

That's some major whiplash. And if it wasn't so predictable, it would be preposterous that a majority of Republicans are now putting out a presidential welcome mat for convicted felons.

But MAGA Republicans were always going to rally around Trump, regardless of his criminal status. It's the 23 percent of Republicans who still feel queasy about electing a felon president that matters.

In fact, on the margins, Biden has gained on Trump since his conviction, particularly among low information voters. The New York Times recontacted nearly 2,000 voters from its pre-conviction polls and found that Biden is picking up two points on Trump, putting the race at 46 percent Biden and 47 percent Trump.

"The shift was especially pronounced among the young, nonwhite, and disengaged Democratic-leaning voters," who had pushed Trump's lead in earlier polling, reported the Times. And among the so-called double-haters, who don't like either Biden or Trump, Trump shed more than 20 percent support, with half going to Biden and half retreating to undecided.

So it looks like MAGA Republicans aren't the only voters having a change of heart since Trump’s conviction.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

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