GOP voters choose Trump — again

Axios:

Republicans across the U.S. are siding with President Trump over Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — big time — according to a new Axios-Ipsos poll.

The state of play: 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.

Why it matters: 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.

  • In addition, it helps explain why a majority of House Republicans voted against certifying the election, and against impeachment.

Between the lines: There’s a deep schism in the GOP, with a 56% majority considering themselves “traditional” Republicans and 36% calling themselves Trump Republicans.

  • The former is often called establishment Republicans. CNN’s Chris Cuomo derisively labels the latter group “Retrumplicans.”

The two groups hold widely different views on removing the president from office, contesting the election and the future of the party. But the Trump Republicans behave with far more unity and intensity.

  • Just 1% of Trump Republicans — versus about one-in-four traditional Republicans — think Trump should be removed from office.
  • Traditional Republicans are split over whether the party is better because of Trump; 96% of Trump Republicans say it is.
  • Trump Republicans are more than twice as likely as traditional Republicans to want him as their 2024 nominee and twice as likely to support the protesters.
  • Traditional Republicans are five times as likely to disapprove of the president’s behavior.

Be smart: The Trump Republicans are still large enough of a group to either stay and dominate primary politics or walk away if Trump is cast out, which would weaken the GOP’s force posture against Democrats.

What they’re saying: “The monopoly Trump’s had on the Republican base for the last four years is a little more frayed than any time in recent history,” said pollster Chris Jackson, senior vice president for Ipsos Public Affairs. “A substantial chunk doesn’t necessarily think their future goes with Donald Trump.

  • “The big question is, is having a small-but-committed base going to be more valuable than a large-but-less-committed base?

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