New Poll Results Showing the Public Thinks the 14th Amendment Disqualifies Trump Are Meaningless

Fulton County Sheriff’s Office via AP

In a new Politico/Morning Consult poll, a slight majority of Americans favor citing the 14th Amendment to keep Donald Trump off the 2024 presidential ballot. 


After a series of questions about the Constitution and Trump’s conduct after the 2020 presidential election, 51 percent said the 14th Amendment prohibits Trump from running again because he engaged in insurrection, compared with 34 percent who said the opposite.

A strange-bedfellows coalition of liberal activists and conservative attorneys have argued that the former president is ineligible to run again based on an interpretation of the 14th Amendment, which reads that those that “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States or “given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof” are disqualified from holding public office.

The interpretation of the 14th Amendment described above relies on what is known as the "Insurrection Clause."

In short, the clause says anyone who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” after taking an oath of office to defend the Constitution is forbidden from holding any public office. When the 14th Amendment was drafted after the Civil War, the clause was aimed at preventing Southern states from electing former Confederate officers to Congress.

There are a couple of problems with this.

First: frankly, Politico and Morning Consult are wasting their time and money with this poll. What the public thinks is irrelevant here; this is a matter for the courts. This will have to go to the Supreme Court, and if the Court rules as I suspect it will, given the clear history and original intent of the 14th Amendment, then the public will have their say. They can either vote for Trump or not vote for him. 


Second, calling what happened on January 6, 2021, an "insurrection" is stretching things well past the breaking point. What happened on that day was ill-advised, but should probably be better characterized as hooliganism -- at most. Nobody was armed. There was little property damage. The only fatality directly resulting from that day was one of the protestors, shot by a Capitol Police officer. If this was to be an insurrection, it was the weakest and worst-planned insurrection in history.

But it doesn't matter what a majority, plurality, minority, or any other grouping thinks; it's a matter for the courts, probably thence to the Supreme Court, there to be decided. Smart money says Donald Trump will be on the primary ballots, and that is where people can make their choices. That's how our Republic is supposed to work.

The really troublesome thing about all this is the lengths to which the Left (and even some on the Right) are willing to go to keep Donald Trump off the ballot. Either the various people pursuing this think that Trump is too dangerous for people to have the choice to vote for him, or they think that the voting public isn't smart enough (as they think they, presumably, are) to vote the way they would prefer -- as in, for a Democrat. Or both.


Either way, it's a troubling precedent. Hopefully, the Supreme Court will squash this down hard enough that it won't be tried again, but ever since the 2016 election, we've been in uncharted territory; it's anybody's guess as to what might happen next.

RedState has covered this issue in several previous stories:


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