A 74 percent majority of Republican voters say they support the idea of former President Donald Trump being a dictator for a day if he is reelected.
A new survey from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and YouGov found that 36 percent of independent voters also support the prospect.
“Fewer than 30% of Republicans recognize Biden’s 2020 election as legitimate, and three-quarters say the House of Representative should impeach Biden,” says Alexander Theodoridis, associate professor of political science at UMass Amherst and co-director of the poll.
Theodoridis continued, “Only 22% support law enforcement efforts to bring those who participated in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol to justice. Two-thirds believe the sentences handed out to those convicted so far have been too harsh, and 68% believe they should be pardoned. Eighty-two percent of Republican respondents tell us Trump is innocent of the charges he is facing for conspiring to overturn the 2020 election results and, looking forward, nearly three-quarters of Republicans say Trump's promise to be a dictator on just the first day of a second term is a good idea for America.”
Surprisingly, 13 percent of Democratic respondents also said that they would support Trump being a dictator for a day, while 87 percent said they would not.
Trump had joked that he would not be a dictator, "except on day one," during a town hall with Sean Hannity on Fox News ahead of the Iowa caucuses.
“He says, ‘You’re not going to be a dictator, are you?’ I said, no, no, no — other than day one. We’re closing the border and we’re drilling, drilling, drilling. After that, I’m not a dictator,” Trump said.
Trump doubled down during the New York Young Republican Club’s 111th Annual Gala in December.
“[Peter] Baker today in the New York Times said that I want to be a dictator,” Trump said during his speech. “I didn’t say that. I said I want to be a dictator for one day. You know why I wanted to be a dictator? Because I want a wall, and I want to drill, drill, drill.”
The survey was conducted Jan. 25-30 among 1,064 respondents. It has a margin of error of 3.7 percent.