Former Vice President Mike Pence was met with audible gasps and spats of applause when he made a surprise announcement on Saturday that he was suspending his campaign for president — becoming the first major candidate to drop out of the race. “I came here to say it’s become clear to me, this is not my time. So after much prayer and deliberation, I have decided to suspend my campaign right now,” Pence said on stage at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s Annual Leadership Summit in Las Vegas.
Pence has been asked dozens of times how he squares pledging to support the Republican nominee while also saying no one who puts themselves above the Constitution should ever be president. Speaking in platitudes, he counts on voters to draw the conclusion themselves. “I urge all my fellow Republicans here to give our country a Republican standard bearer that will, as Lincoln said, appeal to the better angels of our nature,” Pence said Saturday. “And not only leads to victory, but lead our nation with civility to those that have always made America strong and prosperous and free.”
Just under four in ten Americans (38%) agree with the statement, “Because things have gotten so far off track in this country, we need a leader who is willing to break some rules if that’s what it takes to set things right,” while 59% disagree.
About half of Republicans (48%) agree with the need for a leader who is willing to break some rules, compared with four in ten independents (38%) and three in ten Democrats (29%). Majorities of Americans who most trust Fox News (53%) or far-right outlets (52%) agree that we need a leader who breaks the rules, compared with smaller shares of those who do not trust TV news (40%), or who most trust mainstream news (32%). Republicans with favorable views of former President Donald Trump are notably more likely than those with unfavorable views of Trump to agree with the need for a leader who is willing to break some rules (54% vs. 32%).…
Disturbingly, support for political violence has increased over the last two years. Today, nearly a quarter of Americans (23%) agree that “because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country,” up from 15% in 2021. PRRI has asked this question in eight separate surveys since March 2021. This is the first time support for political violence has peaked above 20%.
One-third of Republicans (33%) today believe that true American patriots may have to resort to violence to save the country, compared with 22% of independents and 13% of Democrats.