Republicans are overwhelmingly siding with President Trump over Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), according to a new Axios-Ipsos poll published Wednesday evening.
The poll showed that 62 percent of Republicans think Trump was right to contest the election results and an even higher 69 percent do not blame him for violence at the Capitol last week.
The poll showed that 91 percent of those who identified as “Trump supporters” supported his continued contesting of the election. Of those who identified as “traditional” Republicans, 46 percent supported it, with 36 opposed.
An even higher percentage of Trump supporters — 96 percent — said Trump makes the Republican party better, and a slim majority of traditional Republicans — 51 percent — agreed.
Ninety-two percent of Trump supporters want to see Trump run in 2024, while 41 percent of traditional Republicans agreed.
The poll also showed that only 42 percent of Republicans approved of the recent behavior of McConnell, versus 63 percent for Trump.
The poll was conducted January 11-13, 2021, with 1,019 general population adults age 18 or older, and had a margin of sampling error of +/- 3.4 percentage points.
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.
A sizeable portion of Republicans polled identified as “Trump Republicans” — 36 percent. Fifty-six percent considered themselves “traditional” Republicans.
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 against Democrats.
McConnell has said he has not yet made up his mind whether he would vote to impeach Trump, despite reporting that he was in favor of it.
A House vote to impeach Trump passed because of Democrat support but was a flop among Republicans, with only ten GOPs led by Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) voting to impeach. Cheney now faces mounting calls for her resignation as the GOP conference chair.
The poll showed very little appetite for removing Trump among Trump Republicans — one percent — and among traditional Republicans — about one in four.