Survey: American Public Largely Supported FBI Mar-a-Lago Raid

Americans by and large say they support the FBI’s Aug. 8 raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, while Republican and Democratic opinion remains divided along party lines, according to a new survey published by the COVID States Project.

Researchers with project—a multi-university collaborative that includes Northeastern—asked a series of open-ended questions designed to gauge public support for the search that was initiated as part of a federal probe into the classified documents Trump came to possess after he left the White House.

The raid opened yet another ugly chapter in Trump’s controversial political career that many have speculated could result in a federal indictment of the former president—an unprecedented move that could have far-reaching consequences for both political parties.

David Lazer, distinguished professor of political science and computer and information science. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

The survey, conducted three days after the raid took place, found that overall Americans approved of the search, with about 51% of respondents saying they did to the 27% that said they did not. Another 22% said they neither supported nor opposed it.

Researchers found overwhelming support for the search among Democrats, with about 84% saying they approved of it to just 3% who said they did not. Roughly 69% of Democrats noted that they strongly supported the search.

Unsurprisingly, a significant majority of Republicans opposed the raid, with 64% saying they opposed it compared to 13% who expressed support. Roughly 47% of Republicans strongly opposed the search. As time went on, however, researchers found that the somewhat united Republican opposition to the raid began to wane over the course of a two-week period in which the survey was conducted compared to the Democrats’ steadfast support for it.

Independents, the survey shows, were nearly twice as likely to support the search than oppose it by a margin of some 47% to 24%. About 32% of independents said they strongly supported the raid.

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