About half of Likely U.S. voters would approve if former White House adviser Steve Bannon were sentenced to federal prison for contempt of Congress, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports survey.
It found that 35% strongly approve of his sentencing, but 42% disapprove of Bannon's sentencing, including 30% who strongly disapprove.
Last month, a federal judge sentenced Bannon to four months in prison for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the House select committee investigating last year's Capitol riot, although Bannon remains free while the case is appealed.
Prosecutors wanted the court to sentence Bannon to six months in jail — the top end of the federal sentencing guidelines range — and the maximum fine of $200,000, arguing that Bannon "consistently acted in bad faith" as he tried to impede the House select committee's investigation.
Voters' opinions on the case are divided along political lines, Rasmussen Reports points out, with 87% of Democrat voters approving of sending Bannon to prison, while 67% of Republicans disapprove. Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 46% approve and 43% disapprove of Bannon being sentenced to federal prison.
However, asked how the prosecution of Trump allies like Bannon will affect their vote in this year's congressional election, 38% say it makes them more likely to vote Republican, while 34% say it makes them more likely to vote Democrat, Rasmussen notes, while 27% say the prosecution of Trump allies won't have much influence on their vote in the midterms.
In terms of race, 44% of whites, 64% of Black voters, and 51% of other minorities approve of Bannon being sentenced to federal prison. 47% of whites, 26% of Black voters, and 38% of other minorities disapprove of sending Bannon to prison.
While men are more likely than women voters to approve of Bannon's prison sentence, women voters are somewhat more motivated by the prosecution of Trump allies to vote for Democrats.
Younger voters are more in favor of prison for Bannon, with 64% of voters under 40 approving of sending Bannon to federal prison, but voters ages 40-64 disapprove by a 49% to 42% plurality, and a majority, 53%, of voters 65 and older disapprove of Bannon's prison sentence.
Breaking down the electorate by income brackets, approval of Bannon's prison sentence is highest among voters earning more than $100,000 a year, while those with annual incomes below $30,000 disapprove by a 12-point margin, 49% to 37%.
President Joe Biden's strongest supporters are most eager to see Trump's adviser sent to federal prison. Among voters who strongly approve of Biden's job performance as president, 95% approve of Bannon's prison sentence. By contrast, among voters who strongly disapprove of Biden's performance, only 10% approve of sending Bannon to prison.
The survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters was conducted Oct. 26-27, by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.
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