Establishment Republicans like Sen. Mitch McConnell (KY) have made clear — especially over the last week — that they’re ready to move on from Donald Trump’s presidency. But a new survey suggests that may be easier said than done.
According to a Thursday report from Axios, “A majority of Republicans still think Trump was right to challenge his election loss, support him, don’t blame him for the Capitol mob and want him to be the Republican nominee in 2024.”
The poll reportedly surveyed 1,019 U.S. adults between Jan. 11–13, with a margin of error of around 3.4%.
Crunching the numbers
According to Axios, the survey showed a sharp divide in the Republican Party: about 36% consider themselves “Trump Republicans,” while 56% are more “traditional Republicans.”
Among “Trump Republicans,” 91% of respondents said they supported the president’s repeated challenges of the 2020 election results, and 92% percent wanted to see him run for office again in 2024.
By comparison, 46% of traditional Republicans supported the electoral challenges, and 41% thought Trump should be the GOP nominee again in 2024, according to the poll.
Still, Republicans at large seem to be siding with the president over the establishment: among all Republicans, Trump was pegged at a 64% approval rating, with 35% saying they disapprove of his job performance. Meanwhile, McConnell sat at a slim 42% approval, with 54% disapproving.
“We need a leadership change”
Axios suggested in its report that these numbers matter greatly:
The survey shows why Trump could run again in 2024 (and possibly win) if he isn’t convicted — or banned from holding federal office — by the Senate. It also shows the peril and opportunity for institutionalists like McConnell trying to reclaim the GOP.
According to Breitbart, the poll may also come as bad news for the 10 establishment Republicans who voted in favor of Trump’s impeachment this week, like Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who is now facing calls to resign from her leadership role in the House GOP.
Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL) was among those leading the charge for her ouster.
“One of those 10 cannot be our leader,” Gaetz said after the House voted to impeach Trump on Wednesday, according to The New York Times. “It is untenable, unsustainable, and we need to make a leadership change.”