By the behavior and statements of many members of the Republican Party, one would think that the GOP’s entire future viability hinges upon the one man who led the party to defeat not just in the White House but in both houses of Congress, as counterintuitive as that seems.
A new report from The Washington Post, however, reveals that the party’s own polling data shows that Donald Trump has unfavorability ratings that were 15 points higher than his positive ones in “core districts” that will be the primary battleground in the next election.
“Nearly twice as many voters had a strongly unfavorable view of the former president as had a strongly favorable one.” The Post reports.
The internal GOP poll found that President Joe Biden was “perilously” popular in core battleground districts, with a favorability rating of 54%, far above Trump’s current meager 41%. Vice President Kamala Harris was also more popular than the former president who never broke the 50% mark of approval during his term in office.
Despite having access to this data that would indicate a need for a change of course in the leadership of the Republican party and a rethinking of who should be its standard-bearer, senior GOP officials simply ignored that key finding in the reports that they gave to their members at recent party retreats and didn’t share that crucial information with attendees.
According to the newspaper, the seemingly purposeful omission took place at an April GOP retreat and at an earlier conference of ranking congressional committee chairs in March, leaving Republican politicians in the dark about the repellant nature of Trump’s continued involvement in their party.
The polling data seems to completely contradict Senator Lindsey Graham’s sentiment expressed earlier this week that the Republican Party can’t “move forward” without the former president.
“I would just say to my Republican colleagues, can we move forward without President Trump? The answer is no,” Senator Graham claimed.
“I’ve always liked Liz Cheney, but she’s made a determination that the Republican Party can’t grow with President Trump. I’ve determined we can’t grow without him,” he continued.
It seems like Graham and other senior Republican leaders compromised by their association with the ex-president have taken to ignoring reality as effectively as their role model has taught them, refusing to acknowledge the truth about Trump’s highly negative appeal to their own electorate and the damage his continuing association with the GOP will have for the party in future elections.
While lining up in unison to continue to support Trump and his “big lie” about the supposedly stolen election, Republicans are likely sealing their fate, one that looks headed for defeat yet again.
As the most noted dissident in their party, Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) declared in a Washington Post op-ed earlier this week:
“The Republican Party is at a turning point. Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution.”
Given their current fealty to Trump, it seems like most Republicans have chosen to oppose the truth and Constitutional fidelity.
Hopefully, Democrats will be able to leverage this in their favor and avoid the traditional loss of congressional seats in the mid-term elections.
Original reporting by Michael Scherer, Josh Dawsey, and Dan Lamothe at The Washington Post.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.