Monday, February 22, 2021


This appeared yesterday:
An exclusive Suffolk University/USA TODAY Poll finds [Donald] Trump's support largely unshaken after his second impeachment trial in the Senate....

By double digits, 46%-27%, those surveyed say they would abandon the GOP and join the Trump party if the former president decided to create one. The rest are undecided....

Half of those polled say the GOP should become "more loyal to Trump," even at the cost of losing support among establishment Republicans. One in five, 19%, say the party should become less loyal to Trump and more aligned with establishment Republicans....

Eight in 10 say they would be less likely to vote for a Republican candidate who supported Trump's impeachment....
And for good measure:
Asked to describe what happened during the assault on the Capitol, 58% of Trump voters call it "mostly an antifa-inspired attack that only involved a few Trump supporters." That's more than double the 28% who call it "a rally of Trump supporters, some of whom attacked the Capitol." Four percent call it "an attempted coup inspired by President Trump."
This is a poll of Trump voters, and it isn't the only post-riot, post-inauguration, post-impeachment polling limited to the right. Last week, as part of a general survey, Morning Consult posed a question to Republican voters exclusively:
According to a Morning Consult/Politico poll conducted at the conclusion of the Senate’s weeklong trial, a majority of Republican voters (54 percent) said they would support Trump in a hypothetical 2024 presidential primary election – matching the share who said the same in late November, before his standing dipped in a survey conducted shortly after the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

Yes, Morning Consult has polled GOP voters three times on this question since the election.

On the one hand, there's some value to this. We learned on January 6, and throughout the period between the election and the inauguration, that a thoroughly Trumpified Republican Party is a serious danger to American democracy and puts many people at risk of serious physical harm. We should know whether the backers of one of our two major political parties have thoroughly rejected the notion that the other major party can win an election legitimately, and whether they dismiss concerns about violent behavior by their ideological soul mates.

On the other hand, these polls seem to be a new variant of the media's many safaris into the heart of Trump country, in which reporters discovered every few weeks that, yes, white male retirees in rural diners who voted for Trump still like Trump.

The next midterms will take place 21 months from now; it's way too early to use polling to try to assess what voters will do then, much less two years later in the presidential election. But if we're going to poll, we should poll everybody. We should try to determine whether Trump and his party have alienated the rest of us.

How do voters say they'd vote in a Trump-Biden rematch -- or in a Trump-Kamala Harris matchup? What about Biden or Harris vs. Donald Trump Jr., Josh Hawley, or (if we want to test candidates who aren't Trump purists) Mike Pence or Nikki Haley? What does generic ballot polling look like -- when voters are asked which party they'd back in a vote for Congress, do Republicans do worse? If they do, does the Democratic share of the vote go up, or have alienated GOP voters moved to "undecided" (because they've heard for forty years that Democrats are evil and can't quite make the switch)?

Poll the whole country if you want to poll 2022 and 2024. It would tell us a lot about how all of America feels right now about events since the election, and about what the Republican Party has become. It's possible that swing voters still don't regard the GOP as completely in thrall to Trump, QAnon, and the Oath Keepers, or it's possible that they don't care. If that's the case, we should know. And if they are alienated, we should know that, so we'll stop treating Republican voters as normative Americans.

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