During the 2016 presidential election, candidate Donald Trump said he could “stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody, and he wouldn’t lose any votes.” Turns out, he was pretty much right.
A recently released poll conducted by Public Policy Polling found that 45% of Trump voters (65% among evangelicals) would still approve of the job he was doing if he literally shot someone, while 29% disapproved and 26% were “not sure.”
According to the survey, only 29% thought shooting someone on 5th Avenue was a reason to rescind their support outright.
Trump’s base is nothing if not loyal. But we knew this already. At the height of the election, candidate Trump weathered the Access Hollywood tape and horrific debate performances while never releasing his tax returns. He demeaned prisoners of war, gold-star families, Islam, women, the disabled, and his own party. However, his supporters have remained loyal.
What’s more concerning is the how the Republican party as a whole responded to the question.
Only 34% of Republican voters polled said they would disapprove of the job Trump is doing if he shot someone. That number is even higher among evangelicals —a whopping 65%.
The bottom line is Trump does not differ from Republicans much at all when it comes to policy. He’s only really been at odds with his party when it comes to his behavior and his general lack of decorum. The GOP want a statesman, but they’ll settle for a fraudulent, incompetent despot over a Democrat any day. Even if that despot shoots a person on 5th Avenue.
Whether GOP voters think of Trump as a golden-haired deity or a moldable embarrassment doesn’t really matter—the level of unwavering support is nearly identical across the board.
The poll also revealed that 21% of Trump voters believe he is “more corrupt” than Richard Nixon, while 17% aren’t sure. And he’s not even one year into his presidency.
No wonder Trump proudly proclaimed that he “loves uneducated voters.”