There has been ample speculation over the past several years about the future of the Republican Party, and one new poll signals how members of the GOP want to see that battle play out.
According to Rasmussen Reports, 72% of Republican respondents — along with a plurality of independents — believe that the party should more closely resemble former President Donald Trump than a GOP member of Congress.
“There is no question”
Across the board, 45% of likely voters polled feel that the Republican Party should be more like Trump, compared to 42% who would rather see it modeled after Republican lawmakers.
Only 2 in 10 of the poll’s GOP respondents believe their party should more closely align elected officials in Congress, like Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who is widely considered to be part of the party’s establishment wing.
The polling results came after McConnell unleashed a vicious attack against Trump in a speech from the Senate floor following his vote to acquit the former president at the conclusion of an impeachment trial earlier this month.
“There is no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day,” McConnell said in reference to the deadly Capitol Hill riot on Jan. 6.
Not only do most Republicans believe the party should shun the influence of lawmakers like McConnell, but his approval rating also stood at a dismal 18% in a recent Politico/Morning Consult poll.
“Can never be respected or strong”
Following the Senate leader’s speech, Trump responded with some harsh words of his own, calling him a “dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack” unfit to lead the GOP.
“The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political ‘leaders’ like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm,” the former president’s statement added.
In addition to wanting the GOP to resemble Trump’s influence, another poll indicated that roughly 75% of Republicans want to see the former president maintain a visible and influential stake in the party’s future.
Of course, it is clear that Trump is often brash and can be quick to lash out at those he believes are working against his idea of conservatism — even those in his own party. Nevertheless, millions of supporters believe he is the first commander in chief in recent memory to actually follow through on major campaign promises without fear of potential retribution from the other side of the aisle.
For his part, Trump has promised to remain an active participant in politics going forward — and recent polling results reveal that a majority of the party believes the GOP needs more of his bold brand of politics than the appeasement of McConnell and his ilk.