Donald Trump’s history with the Republican Party is mixed: after receiving unflattering reviews during the primary, most Republicans did his bidding throughout his four years in office. However, amid rumors of Republican division, the question of his future in the GOP still remains uncertain.
According to recent polling data from the Pew Research Center, Donald Trump’s popularity has taken a hit since the riots at the Capitol: 68% of Americans do not want him to remain a significant political figure. But Republicans and Democrats are still vastly divided.
Among Republicans and Republican-leaners, 46% believed that Trump held no responsibility for the events at the Capitol, opposed to 95% of Democrats and Democrat-leaners. This distinction continues to election disinformation as 64% of Republicans/Republican-leaners believe that Trump won the 2020 election. There’s no denying it: Trump holds a lot of sway within the Republican base.
That’s not good news for the Republican establishment.
When Democrats first brought Trump’s most recent article of impeachment to the floor, rumors swirled about how Senate Republicans would vote; in the House, as was expected, the vast majority of Republicans voted against the motion. Still, as one CNN article writes:
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that he believes that impeaching President Donald Trump will make it easier to get rid of the President and Trumpism from the Republican Party, according to a source with knowledge of the matter” — CNN Politics
Mitch McConnell wants to turn the page on the Trump administration. Will Trump let that happen? Can the GOP recover?
I’m going to be brutally honest here: Donald Trump caused the Republicans to lost the Georgia runoffs. But I’m sure that Trump hoped for that very result.
Trump’s self-driven superiority complex, angered by what he saw as a lack of loyalty on the Hill, wanted to show the RNC and a number of Senate Republicans that they could not win without him on the ballot; it’s certainly what happened. Regardless of whether it was because of his absence on the ballot or his insistence of a fraudulent election system, the simple fact is that Republicans lost. Trump did that.
But it puts a lot of Republicans in a tough spot, mired in speculation. It just so happens to be the same difficult position many Republicans have been put in before. Before Trump so openly embarrassed himself a couple weeks ago, at least to the extent that a portion of the Republican base reacted to it, Republicans were often put in the uncomfortable spot of choosing between their conscience and their party leader. And with a leader that views loyalty as the most important attribute in his party’s members, these lawmakers often chose the latter.
Now, the question rises to whether the Republican party will move on from Trump. It likely depends on the vote to convict, which could then lead to a vote to bar Trump from federal office, but many Republicans who have defied Trump are likely to face primary challengers, screaming of infidelity to the party. That’s not good for party unity for what’s soon to be a minority party.
Trump clearly believes, however, that he is the center of the Republican base, and for once, he has the evidence to back that claim up. It’s interesting to see how he uses that influence going forward. Nonetheless, I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether the GOP can survive while Trump remains its leader because it’s not exactly clear what they can do without him, though.