Exclusive: Defeated and impeached, Trump still commands the loyalty of the GOP's voters

Written by on February 21, 2021


Moments after voting to acquit Donald Trump of the impeachment cost, Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell stated Trump was “virtually and morally accountable” for the lethal Capitol riot. Nonetheless, he stated conviction could be unconstitutional. (Feb. 13) AP Home

If there is a civil warfare within the Republican Get together, the voters who backed Donald Trump in November’s election are prepared to decide on sides.

Behind Trump.

An unique Suffolk College/USA TODAY Ballot finds Trump’s help largely unshaken after his second impeachment trial within the Senate, this time on a cost of inciting an rebellion within the lethal assault on the Capitol Jan. 6.

By double digits, 46%-27%, these surveyed say they might abandon the GOP and be part of the Trump get together if the previous president determined to create one. The remaining are undecided.

“We really feel like Republicans do not struggle sufficient for us, and all of us see Donald Trump preventing for us as laborious as he can, each single day,” Brandon Keidl, 27, a Republican and small-business proprietor from Milwaukee, says in an interview after being polled. “However then you’ve got institution Republicans who simply agree with institution Democrats and every part, they usually do not ever push again.”

Half of these polled say the GOP ought to develop into “extra loyal to Trump,” even at the price of shedding help amongst institution Republicans. One in 5, 19%, say the get together ought to develop into much less loyal to Trump and extra aligned with institution Republicans. 

The survey of 1,000 Trump voters, recognized from 2020 polls, was taken by landline and cellphone final Monday by way of Friday. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 share factors. 

They categorical stronger loyalty to Trump the individual (54%) than they did to the Republican Get together that twice nominated him for the White Home (34%). 

A post-Trump period? Not so quick

These will presumably be distressing findings for Senate Republican chief Mitch McConnell and different senior GOP figures who had hoped Trump’s decisive defeat for reelection and his subsequent impeachment would possibly imply a post-Trump period was poised to start.

Extra: Donald Trump rips Mitch McConnell as each seeks to exert leadership after impeachment trial

The overwhelming allegiance the previous president instructions among the many get together’s voters offers him the standing to weigh in on GOP primaries and search retribution on these officeholders who voted to question and convict him. He’s scheduled to make his first main deal with since leaving the White Home on the influential Conservative Political Motion Convention (CPAC) subsequent Sunday in Orlando, Florida. 

Although a majority of the Senate voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial, by 57-43, lawmakers failed to achieve the two-thirds threshold required for conviction. He was acquitted Feb. 13. 

Trump voters are ready to punish those that crossed him. Eight in 10 say they might be much less prone to vote for a Republican candidate who supported Trump’s impeachment, as 10 representatives did within the Home. An equal portion, 80%, say the seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump have been motivated by political calculations, not their consciences.

Trump would not must type a 3rd get together, says Francis Zovko, 63, a Republican from Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania. “I feel he is simply going to, you recognize, take over the Republican Get together, a lot as he did in 2016,” the methods analyst says. “All of them sort of thought he was a giant joke, and by the top, they weren’t laughing anymore.”

Solely 4% say the impeachment trial made them much less supportive of Trump; 42% say it made them extra supportive. Fifty-four % say it did not have an effect on their help.

Paleologos on the Ballot: Move over Fox News, Trump voters are shifting toward Newsmax, OANN

Embracing an untruth: antifa’s function

Most Trump voters embrace a model of occasions on Jan. 6 that has been debunked by impartial reality checkers and legislation enforcement companies.

Requested to explain what occurred through the assault on the Capitol, 58% of Trump voters name it “largely an antifa-inspired assault that solely concerned a number of Trump supporters.” That is greater than double the 28% who name it “a rally of Trump supporters, a few of whom attacked the Capitol.”  4 % name it “an tried coup impressed by President Trump.”

Legislation enforcement investigations discovered no proof of a role by antifa, a unfastened alliance of leftist, anti-fascist teams which have staged demonstrations in some cities, significantly on the West Coast. Most of those arrested within the assault Jan. 6 recognized themselves as Trump supporters. 

“It regarded horrendous, however how are we to know who was truly collaborating?” asks Christine Rodriguez, 79, a Republican from Galveston, Texas, who was amongst these surveyed. “You would have any individual planted there from the left … pretending to be an actual Trump supporter.” 

“There have been a wide range of individuals who have been there,” says William Case, 40, an electrician and impartial voter from Vacaville, California. “I imply, exterior there was a bunch of Trump supporters that did not go in, however there’s video proof of different teams that did, antifa being one in every of them. There have been additionally reporters that broke in and adopted everyone.”

Although credentialed journalists coated the assault, some after being trapped within the Capitol, none has been charged with wrongdoing. Nobody identified to be affiliated with antifa has been amongst these arrested.

Fact check: What’s true about the Capitol riot, from antifa to BLM 

Within the ballot, greater than 9 of 10 Trump voters say the previous president is not responsible of inciting an rebellion. Nearly eight in 10 say the group would have stormed the Capitol even when Trump hadn’t urged them to “struggle like hell” at a rally exterior the White Home that day.

Calling Trump chargeable for the assault is “insane,” protests Jane Wiles, 76, a retired insurance coverage supervisor from Treasure Island, Florida. “Was he there? No. Until he was there main the pack, he isn’t accountable.”

By 2-1, 59%-29%, Trump voters say they need him to run for president once more in 2024. If he ran, three of 4, 76%, would help him for the nomination; 85% would vote for him in a common election.

“I feel he is most likely exhausted,” says Peter St. Ong, 47, an impartial voter from Berlin, New Hampshire. Trump would possibly determine to not run once more, he says, then reconsiders: “He appears to be roughly hooked on being the middle of dialog, so I’d truthfully be fairly shocked” if he did not run once more in 2024.

Even so, St. Ong suggests it is doable that in 4 years, the Republican Get together could be prepared to show to a contemporary face. “I do just like the populist concepts that he has introduced into the get together,” he says of Trump. Alternatively, “his mouth sort of acquired away with him typically, and I feel a few of these different individuals have slightly bit extra self-discipline, so that they could be extra profitable, extra in a position to attain throughout the aisle.”

No honeymoon for Biden

Trump voters aren’t able to acknowledge Joe Biden as president regardless of his margin of victory of seven million votes nationwide.

Three of 4, 73%, say Biden wasn’t legitimately elected. Most don’t desire their representatives to cooperate with him, even when which means gridlock in Washington.

Six in 10, 62%, say congressional Republicans “ought to do their finest to face as much as Biden on main insurance policies, even when it means little will get handed.” That is greater than double the 26% who say congressional Republicans “ought to do their finest to work with Biden on main insurance policies, even when it means making compromises.”

USA TODAY/Suffolk Poll: Americans, braced for violence at the inauguration, see democracy damaged after Trump

There are disquieting findings within the ballot for Fox Information, which has prospered because the dominant information supply for conservatives. In a USA TODAY/Suffolk Ballot in October 2016, 58% of Trump voters stated Fox was their most trusted supply of stories. Within the new ballot, that drops to 34%.

Belief has risen in two relatively new outlets which have made their reputations by championing Trump. Newsmax is probably the most trusted amongst 17% of Trump voters, adopted by 9% for One American Information Community, or OANN. 

David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk College Political Analysis Heart, says the findings may mirror “a seismic shift in the landscape of trusted news sources for conservatives within the nation.”


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