Donald Trump on December 17, 2023 in Reno
Republican Presidential candidate former U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks during a campaign rally at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on December 17, 2023 in Reno, Nevada.
(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Many Voters in Key Swing States Unfamiliar With Trump’s Authoritarian Statements: Poll

A new survey suggests presenting voters with the former president’s dictatorial rhetoric could help Democrats win in November.

Former president Donald Trump has made a slew of authoritarian statements since he launched his campaign for a second White House term at the end of 2022, but a new poll suggests most voters are unaware of many of the concerning things he's said.

Trump has said he intends to be a dictator on "day one," claimed that immigrants are "poisoning the blood of our country," called his political opponents "vermin," and more. A poll obtained by The New Republic, which was done by veteran Democratic pollster Geoff Garin for the group Save My Country, finds a lot of people are not familiar with these statements.

"The poll asked them about ten of Trump's most authoritarian statements... Trump's claim that immigrants are 'poisoning the blood of our country'; his vow to pardon rioters who attacked the Capitol; his promise to prosecute the Biden family without cause; his threat to inflict mass persecution on the 'vermin' opposition, and a few more," writes Greg Sargent of The New Republic.

"Result? 'Only 31% of respondents said they previously had heard a lot about these statements by Trump,' the memo accompanying the poll concluded," he adds.

The poll was conducted in three swing states—Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania—and the pollster spoke with 400 voters in each state. The pollster chose not to include anyone who "voted for Trump in 2020 and also said Biden didn't legitimately win." Those are likely voters who would never get behind Biden.

Once respondents were made aware of Trump's authoritarian statements, they viewed him more negatively. This shows that Democrats may have to educate voters on what Trump's been saying about his intentions if they want to win in November.

"For instance, after hearing them, the percentage who see him as 'out for revenge' jumped by five points, the percentage who see him as 'dangerous' rose by nine points, and the percentage who see him as a 'dictator' climbed by seven points," Sargent writes.

President Joe Biden is currently behind Trump in recent national polls, and he wants the election to be about preserving democracy, so informing voters of how Trump's statements represent a threat to democracy may benefit him. Based on Garin's poll, voters seemingly have not been made aware of what Trump has been saying through the media.

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