Suffolk Poll: Most Respondents See Trump as a Failed President

70% describe Capitol rioters as criminals, say democracy weaker

President Donald Trump is seen as a “failed” president by nearly 6 in 10 registered voters (58%) surveyed in the latest Suffolk University/USA TODAY poll, a number that is up 8 points from the 50% who said “failed” less than a month ago.

“The recent storming of the Capitol and impeachment of President Donald Trump a second time have stained Trump’s legacy,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. “In less than a month Trump's numbers have tumbled across the board."
Just 23% of voters say they would vote for him in 2024, down 7 points from the 30% who indicated support in the December poll. Trump suffered a 16-point drop among Republicans, from 71% in December to 55% today.

Much of Trump’s erosion can be attributed to the recent storming of the Capitol following a Trump speech, resulting in multiple deaths and investigations. More than 70% of voters described the participants as criminals, while 24% indicated that they went too far but had a point. In addition, nearly 62% ascribed a lot or some blame to Trump, while 36% said he deserved little or no blame. A slight majority (52%) said that due to this incident, President Trump should be removed from office, but 45% disagreed.

The recent defections among elected officials who previously supported Trump but are calling on him to resign or be impeached have raised skepticism with voters. Nearly 56% said these defectors were seizing the moment for political gain, while 7% said they are disloyal for turning their backs on Trump. Just 31% said that these elected officials are sincerely doing what is best for the country.

As Biden prepares to lead a divided country, he must do so with nearly one-third of voters surveyed indicating that they do not believe he was legitimately elected. According to the poll, 64% say he was legitimately elected while a considerable 32% say he was not. Most demographics overwhelmingly believe Biden’s election was legitimate. However, Republican voters (72%), viewers who trust Fox News (68%), and those who believe Trump will be viewed by history as a great president (88%) overwhelmingly disagree.

The fallout of recent events hasn’t only hit Trump. It appears to be impacting democracy. Just 17% said that our democracy is stronger than it was four years ago, while 70% said it has gotten weaker.

Transition and the Inauguration

As Washington, D.C. prepares for what will hopefully be seen as a smooth transition of power from Trump to Biden, a majority of voters (56%) said there will be more violence on January 20, Inauguration Day. Just 31% said there will be no violence.

2020 Polling

The final national Suffolk University/USA TODAY survey of likely voters showed Democrat Joe Biden leading Republican Donald Trump by 6.5 points. As of this writing, Biden leads Trump by 4.5 points.


The nationwide Suffolk University/USA Today survey was conducted through live interviews of cell phone and land line users. The survey of 1,000 respondents was conducted January 11-15, 2020. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points. Results are posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310,


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