(The Independent) – A majority of Americans would support the Senate convicting Donald Trump and barring him from holding federal office in future, a new poll has found, with more people backing the move now than at any point during his first impeachment trial.
The ABC survey suggests a growing number of people are in favour of Mr Trump’s conviction as the start of his trial looms larger, with a Quinnipiac University poll several days earlier suggesting that 50 per cent of Americans were in favour and 45 per cent opposed.
Mr Trump’s popularity has tumbled from the days of his first impeachment trial, when the split of those for and against his conviction was 47 per cent to 49 per cent, according to an ABC/Washington Post poll at the time.
The polls are an indication of the impact on public perceptions from the riots at the Capitol building last month. More people now believe that there are greater extremist elements in the Republican Party than the Democratic Party, according to the latest polling.
Mr Trump’s second impeachment trial begins in the Senate on Tuesday, with the former president facing accusations that he incited the mob with a Washington rally speech calling on them to “fight” the result of November’s election.
Senate members will hear evidence, set to include videos of the events of 6 January, as Democrats try to convince at least 17 Republicans to join them in voting to convict Mr Trump and bar him from future office, because a two-thirds majority is required.
Trump aides are confident that he will be acquitted, given 45 of the 50 Republican senators previously voted to dismiss the trial. Many have argued that since he is no longer president, the process to remove him from office is obsolete.