President Trump’s last Tweet before being permanently banned from Twitter was to inform his followers he won’t be attending the inauguration of President-elect Biden on Jan. 20. The last time a sitting president didn’t attend his successor’s inauguration was in 1869, when President Andrew Johnson skipped out on the swearing in of Ulysses S. Grant as the 18th president. While the context and precedent surrounding a predecessor president missing the inauguration of his successor is grim, a vast majority of Americans from both parties agree with Trump’s decision to stay away on Jan. 20.
According to a recent survey from YouGov, 45 percent of U.S. adults strongly support the president’s decision to skip Biden’s inauguration. Another 12 percent somewhat support it, while 28 percent either somewhat or strongly oppose his decision to do so. A remaining 16 percent of Americans are unsure what to make of the situation entirely.
Both Democrats and Republicans support the president’s decision to skip the ceremony in various ways. For Democrats, many see Trump’s prolonged refusal to accept the election results and his role in inciting a pro-Trump mob to storm the U.S. Capitol as a potential distraction for the swearing in of Biden. For Republicans that continue to believe false conspiracies of widespread election fraud, they see Trump’s absence as a continuation of his refusal to recognize the new administration.