A New Pew Reseach Poll Reveals Just How Deep the Divisions Within the Republican Party Are

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Abigail Covington
·2 min read
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Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN - Getty Images
Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN - Getty Images

From Esquire

According to a new poll from the Pew Research Center, Donald Trump’s approval rating is now 29% — the lowest of his presidency. Evidently, inciting a riot isn’t great for the ol’ reputation.

The survey was conducted from Jan. 8 -12 among 5,630 U.S. adults, most of whom voted in the 2020 election. Of those polled, 75% said the president is at least partly responsible for the “violence and destruction committed by some of his supporters;” 68% said they don’t want Trump to be a major political figure in the future; and 54% said the country would be better off if Trump was removed from office and Vice President Mike Pence finished the last few days of his term.

Finally, consensus … sort of. A deeper dive into the poll results reveal that while the majority of Americans agree that Donald Trump is an insurrection-inciting sham of a president, half of the country (aka Republicans) actually don’t agree on anything at all.

For instance, when it comes to who to blame for the attack on the capitol, the party is split: 52% of Republicans believe Trump is responsible for his supporter’s actions at the Capitol, while 46% believe he bears no responsibility at all. At the same time, the share of Trump supporters who think president has displayed poor conduct during the post-election period has doubled over the past two months, from 10% to 20%.

When four questions about Trump and his role in the party’s future are combined, things get even murkier. 29% of Republicans approve of Trump’s post-election behavior, do not blame him for the riot, believe he won the presidential election, and want him to have a major role in politics moving forward. However, an almost equal amount – 25% – “hold none of these views.” And nearly half of Republicans (46%) “hold some combination of these positions” writes the survey’s authors, “agreeing with some but not others.”

What this poll makes clear is that Donald Trump and his style of politics are not a historical anomaly. Trumpism will be with us long after the president leaves office, and the future of the Republican party will in large part be determined by how it handles Trump’s legacy. Republican politicians can either be with Trump and his base or against them. Rep. Liz Cheney came out as the former and is currently facing calls for her removal from her leadership role for voting to impeach Trump. Sen. Josh Hawley came out as the latter and now 51% percent of Missouri voters believe he should resign for voting against certifying the 2020 presidential election results.

No matter which version of the party prevails, for an outgoing president with one of the worst presidential approval ratings of all time to hold this much sway over a major political party is a disturbing symptom of our ailing democracy.

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