Credit to PRRI for the best way of asking this question. What Trump is really saying is that he could do pretty much anything and not lose his supporters, and this poll suggests 15 percent say that exemplifies them. Whether they’d actually follow through if Trump killed a guy? That’s less certain, for the reasons described in the previous item.
Matthew Miller’s reaction to the new Washington Post-ABC News poll Friday caught my eye. The poll showed just 18 percent of Americans believed President Trump should pardon Paul Manafort.
“This is the ‘shoot someone on 5th Avenue’ caucus, and it’s much lower than Trump would have you believe,” the former Obama-era Justice Department official tweeted.
.. How big is the “shoot someone on Fifth Avenue” caucus in America?
The answer I arrived at as anywhere from 1 in 8 to 1 in 5 Americans — between 12 and 20 percent, around where Miller pegged it. These are the people who seem prepared to justify and/or forgive pretty much anything Trump has done or even has threatened to do. It represents half or less of Trump supporters.
.. despite Trump’s approval hanging tough around 40 percent for his entire presidency, a significant portion of that isn’t completely thrilled with him. Those folks could feasibly at some point be convinced he’s gone too far — whether by shooting someone or for some other reason.
12 percent say it’s “acceptable for a presidential campaign to obtain information on a political opponent from a hostile foreign power” (Quinnipiac University)
.. 26 percent say Trump should be able to shut down news outlets for “bad behavior” (Reuters)
.. 12 percent say it’s not a “big deal” if Russia interferes to help Republicans (Yahoo-SurveyMonkey)
.. Fully 40 percent of Republicans said it was either “appropriate” or “not appropriate, but wouldn’t be a big deal” if Russia did that — despite foreign involvement in U.S. elections being clearly illegal.
.. 22 percent say if Trump shot someone on Fifth Avenue, they would approve of his job performance (Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling)
.. 15 percent say there is almost nothing Trump could do to lose their support (Public Religion Research Institute)