- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 17, 2021

President Trump’s job approval rating held firm despite becoming the first president impeached twice and weathering blame for the attack on the U.S. Capitol, a new poll shows.

Mr. Trump garnered a positive job approval rating from 43% of voters, slightly down from the 45% rating he received before the November election, according to an NBC News poll released Sunday.

Mr. Trump’s rating was bolstered by solid support among Republicans. Nearly 9 in 10 Republican voters — 87% — approved of his performance.

“While a few Republican elected officials have broken with Trump, Republican voters are sticking with him for now,” said Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research, who conducted the poll for the news network along with Republican pollster. “As we’ve seen over the course of his term, major event after major event does little to shake Trump’s standing with Republicans.”

His support in the party was barely moved from the pre-election survey when he had garnered a positive rating from 89% of Republican voters.

The support in the party extended beyond die-hard Trump fans. Roughly half of Republicans who said their allegiance resides with the GOP rather than Mr. Trump still give him a high approval score, according to the poll.

The survey also found that a significant share of voters has doubts about the legitimacy of President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s win in the Nov. 3 election.

About 35% of voters told the pollsters they didn’t believe the election was above-board. Those voters included 74% of Republicans, 30% of independents and 3% of Democrats.

About 61% of all voters, including 21% of Republicans, said Mr. Biden won legitimately.

Mr. Trump persists in challenging the election results, despite a slew of lawsuits failing to demonstrate widespread ballot fraud or overturn the outcome in any battleground state.

His claims of ballot fraud fueled a massive protest in Washington on Jan. 6. A mob of pro-Trump demonstrators stormed the U.S. Capitol and attacked the House and Senate chambers, where lawmakers were certifying the Electoral College votes to name Mr. Biden the next president.

In the poll, 28% of Republican voters said Mr. Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 reinforced their support of him. Just 5% said they now regret backing him.

Among voters overall, 52% said Mr. Trump was solely or mainly responsible for the protest that precipitated the Capitol siege.

Those blaming Mr. Trump including 91% of Democrats, 44% of independents and 11% of Republicans.

The survey of 1,000 registered voters was conducted Jan. 10-13. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1%.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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