The poll, which was conducted among 1,056 adult voters during and after the second impeachment against Trump, somehow shows that neither the fake news campaign, the two impeachments, nor the censorship of social media have changed the way Americans view the former president.
“He may have fallen, but he certainly hasn’t lost the respect of the Republican Party. Twice impeached, vilified by Democrats in court, and virtually silenced by social media … through it all, Donald Trump maintains a solid foothold in the Republican Party,” noted Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy.
The impact of the second impeachment and the smear campaign against Trump
The poll data comes at a time when GOP leaders are debating whether or not to continue to count on Trump’s leadership for the next Senate elections in 2022 and for the future of the party, especially now that he was acquitted for the second time.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), despite having voted against impeachment of Trump, condemned the former president using the same arguments Democrats used to put together the sham impeachment trial where they used truncated evidence.
“There is no question that former President Trump bears moral responsibility. His supporters stormed the Capitol for the unhinged falsehoods he shouted into the world’s biggest megaphone,” McConnell wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), was optimistic about the role Trump can play in the upcoming election in retaking control of the Senate for Republicans.
Trump “is excited about 2022, and I’m going to go talk to him next week, play a little golf in Florida,” Graham said, adding that he told Trump that “this MAGA movement has to continue.”
Consequences for voting against Trump
Of the seven Republican senators who voted for impeachment against Trump, six were censured by their home state parties. The seventh, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), was the only one not to suffer consequences yet.
While censure is a symbolic measure that implies disapproval of actions taken by the individual, the event itself highlights the support the former president continues to enjoy among Republicans who are somehow not subject to political pressure and manipulation from Washington.
A recent Gallup poll found that more than 60% of Americans approve of the idea of a third party, a figure that perhaps reflects people’s disapproval of both parties after what happened with former President Trump.
After being acquitted, Trump released a statement signaling to his supporters that he still intends to remain active in the political arena.
“Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to “Make America Great Again” has only just begun. In the coming months I have much to share with you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all of our people,” Trump wrote.
He added, “We have much work ahead of us, and we will soon emerge with a vision of a bright, radiant, and limitless American future.”
In his remarks, Trump does not refer to the Republican Party but to the patriotic movement he created, which some see as an indication that the former president will form a new party.
The former president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. stressed on Monday on the Fox News program “Hannity” that his father “is going to continue to push that America First agenda, fighting for the American worker. … He’s going to push candidates who do that, not random establishment types.”