Just over half of Americans say the author of the anonymous New York Times op-ed slamming President Trump’s leadership should have signed the piece and resigned in protest, according to a new American Barometer poll.
The survey, conducted by Hill.TV and the HarrisX polling company, found that 53 percent of respondents said the author, who was identified as a senior administration official, should have signed the op-ed and resigned in protest.
But 47 percent said the official should have published the piece anonymously and continued to block Trump’s actions.
The anonymous op-ed published by The New York Times published last week described coordinated efforts among staff to push back against Trump’s “worst inclinations.”
The views of the op-ed were also split along partisan lines, the Hill.TV and HarrisX poll showed.
A majority of Republican respondents said the official did not handle the situation correctly, with 77 percent saying they should have signed the op-ed and stepped down in protest, while 23 percent of Republicans said the piece should have been published anonymously.
Meanwhile, 64 percent of Democratic respondents said the op-ed should have been published anonymously, while 36 percent said the official should have signed the article and resigned.
Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of the Gallup poll, said the poll shows the large divide among the public on the issue.
“I think this question simply shows us that the public is divided. You put a question like that in front of them and they’ve been hearing arguments either way,” Newport told Hill.TV’s Joe Concha on “What America’s Thinking.”
“It sounds kind of nice, I think, to say that somebody should resign in protest. That sounds like a ‘Jimmy Stewart comes to Washington’ kind of thing so that’s probably why it gets majority support. But we’ll see where this goes, moving forward,” he continued.
Mallory Newall, director of research at Ipsos Public Affairs, pointed out support among millennials for keeping the piece anonymous.
“One of the things that kind of struck me about the poll that you guys did was the split when you look at age. How younger people, millennials, next generation, people ages 18 to 34 — whatever you want to call them — are much more in favor of the person writing the anonymous op-ed and staying within the White House to continue the quote unquote resistance,” she said.
The survey showed 58 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds polled said the piece should have been published anonymously, while 42 percent said the piece should have been signed and the official should have stepped down.
The op-ed, which claimed there was a silent resistance in the administration working against Trump, sent shock waves through Washington last week.
Trump has slammed the op-ed and demanded that the Times identify the author for national security purposes.
A slew of administration officials, including Vice President Pence, have come out to deny they were behind the piece.
The American Barometer poll was conducted on Sept. 8 and 9 among 1,000 registered voters. The sampling margin of error is 3.1 percentage points.
— Julia Manchester
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