The Republican Party is quickly coming to a fork in the road.
One path leads back to the old ways of fiscal conservatism and muted cultural machinations. The other lands you square at the feet of a red-hatted force majeure, created by none other than Donald Trump himself. It’s the status quo versus America first, and a new poll seems to be putting some pressure on the traditional centrists within the party.
Debate has continued to rage among Republicans about the direction the party should go in following Trump’s presidency. This week, Trump blasted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who is among politicians attempting to walk the line between appeasing the pro-Trump GOP base and resuming business as usual in establishment circles.
“The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political ‘leaders’ like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm,” Trump said in a statement. While McConnell did not vote to convict Trump, he placed blame on the president in a speech Saturday. His favorability stands at 18 percent, a recent Politico/Morning Consult poll showed.
Rasmussen’s recent survey, taken February 16-17, 2020, among 1,000 likely U.S. voters, indicated establishment Republicans still have an issue, as a majority of Republican voters believe the party should continue to go down the path the former president laid out.
Across the board, a plurality of likely voters, 45 percent, said the party should be “more like former President Trump,” compared to 42 percent who said it should be “more like the average GOP member of Congress.” Among Republicans specifically, 72 percent say the party should be more like Trump, compared to 20 percent who said it should be more like a GOP member of Congress. A plurality of voters unaffiliated with either major political party also indicated that the GOP should be more like Trump moving forward, 44 percent to the 39 percent who disagreed.
Notably, 65 percent of Democrats believe that the Republican Party should be “more like the average GOP member of Congress.”
When asked to choose between the statements “Donald Trump is still the kind of leader the Republican Party needs” and “Republicans need to get away from the legacy of Donald Trump,” 73 percent of Republicans chose the former.
Now we just need to wait and see if anyone within the GOP is going to heed this warning.
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