Trumps Future: Nine Possibilities
As former President Donald Trumps second impeachment trial begins, it shines a light on a new reality: although its been nearly 100 days since Trump lost his re-election he is not going away, at least in the short term. What will become of Trump? Here are nine possible outcomes for Trumps futurethe first four possibilities keep him in the middle of national politics; in the latter five, he would more likely fade away.
1. Leading the Trumpublican faction of the GOP
Over the course of four years as president, Trump masterfully consolidated Republican voters into a cult of personality. His hardcore supporters were willing to believe anything that left his lips, regardless of evidence to the contrary. They were willing to put their own lives at risk as he huddled them together at rallies and mocked those taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They were willing to commit insurrection against their own government, all in his name and to support his lies about election malfeasance.
That non-trivial group of Republican and Republican-leaning voters is not going away, and they remain loyal not to the party but to Donald Trump. It remains to be seen exactly how large this group is, how much power they will wield in Republican primaries and whether a non-Trumpublican candidate can consolidate the remainder of the party.
2. Uniting MAGA to form a third party
How Mitch Mcconnell And Senate Republicans Learned To Stop Worrying About A Biden Victory And Love The Infrastructure Bill
What happened Tuesday in the Senate might seem like nothing short of a political miracle: Nineteen Republican senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, joined with Democrats to pass a $1trillion infrastructure bill, advancing President Bidens top domestic priority.
But those Republicans said there was nothing mystical about it. The vote was the result of a carefully calibrated alignment of interests, one shepherded and ultimately supported by a group of senators isolated from the immediate pressures of the GOP voter base, which remains loyal to former president Donald Trump, who repeatedly urged the bills defeat.
Among those interests is a strategic one, McConnell and other Republicans said. By joining with Democrats in an area of mutual accord, they are seeking to demonstrate that the Senate can function in a polarized political environment. That, they believe, can deflate a Democratic push to undo the filibuster the 60-vote supermajority rule than can allow a minority to block most legislation while setting up a stark contrast as Democrats move alone on a $3.5trillion economic package.
Ive never felt that we ought to be perceived as being opposed to everything, McConnell said in an interview Tuesday, before commenting on the slender nature of the Democratic congressional majorities, then rattling off bipartisan bills that passed during his time as party leader under two previous presidents.
Trump Is Still A Force In The Party
After the 2012 elections, prominent Republicans sharply criticized Mitt Romney and his campaign. Democrats did the same to Hillary Clinton after 2016 and sometimes included former President Barack Obama in their criticisms, too. For a political party to change direction, it nearly always has to distance itself from past leaders.;
Or put another way: For there to be an autopsy, there has to be a dead body.
You May Like: Breakdown Of Trump Voters
Taking The Perspective Of Others Proved To Be Really Hard
The divide in the United States is wide, and one indication of that is how difficult our question proved for many thoughtful citizens. A 77-year-old Republican woman from Pennsylvania was typical of the voters who struggled with this question, telling us, This is really hard for me to even try to think like a devilcrat!, I am sorry but I in all honesty cannot answer this question. I cannot even wrap my mind around any reason they would be good for this country.
Similarly, a 53-year-old Republican from Virginia said, I honestly cannot even pretend to be a Democrat and try to come up with anything positive at all, but, I guess they would vote Democrat because they are illegal immigrants and they are promised many benefits to voting for that party. Also, just to follow what others are doing. And third would be just because they hate Trump so much. The picture she paints of the typical Democratic voter being an immigrant, who goes along with their party or simply hates Trump will seem like a strange caricature to most Democratic voters. But her answer seems to lack the animus of many.;;
Democrats struggled just as much as Republicans. A 33-year-old woman from California told said, i really am going to have a hard time doing this but then offered that Republicans are morally right as in values, going to protect us from terrorest and immigrants, going to create jobs.
Why The Gop Cant Quit Trump
The former president is antagonizing Republican leaders, but hes still the partys most popular figure.
On Saturday, before a roomful of top Republican donors, former President Donald Trump called Senator Mitch McConnell a stone cold loser and worse.
On Monday, Mr. Trump was rewarded with the first Champion for Freedom award, handed out by none other than the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the campaign finance arm of the Republican caucus that Mr. McConnell leads.
The events of the past few days have laid bare a tension that is tearing the Republican Party apart by its pocket seams: Big donors are beyond tired of Mr. Trumps antics, but his small-dollar fund-raising is through the roof. If Mr. Trump is in a tug of war with the Republican establishment, he appears to have the upper hand not just in the polls, but also in dollars.
Days before he gave his speech on Saturday to Republican National Committee donors, it became public that in the first quarter of 2021, Mr. Trumps Save America PAC had amassed a war chest of $85 million. Thats a million dollars more than the R.N.C. itself had on hand at the end of the quarter.
As our reporters Shane Goldmacher, Maggie HabermanandJonathan Martin pointed out in a story over the weekend, Mr. Trump has expressly encouraged his supporters to donate to Save America PAC, his group, rather than to RINOS.
On Politics is also available as a newsletter. to get it delivered to your inbox.
Recommended Reading: Trump Says Republicans Are Stupid 1998
What We All Forget About The Political Career Of Bush 41
Clinton-Gore could compete
Bush’s term in office featured a short and highly successful war in the Persian Gulf and a budget deal with Democrats that would eventually reduce the federal deficit and slow the growth of the national debt. But a brief recession cost him in the polls, and a rebellion broke out on the party’s right.
Bush got a primary challenge from Pat Buchanan, a media personality who served as an adviser to Reagan and Nixon. Buchanan assailed the budget deal because it raised taxes. He conjured the spirits of Reagan and Goldwater and questioned Bush’s conservative bona fides. So did Ross Perot, an eccentric billionaire Texan who was running as a self-financing independent.
On top of that, Bush was confronted with the Democrats’ choice of an all-Southern ticket in Clinton of Arkansas and Al Gore of Tennessee. The young Democrats who could talk Southern carried their home states plus Louisiana and Georgia and all the Civil War “border states” . The region was back in play.
Clinton and Gore threw a chill into Republicans. What if Clinton served two terms and gave way to a still-vital, still-Southern Gore who could serve two more? That would be a roadblock in the White House equivalent to Roosevelt’s four wins.
Have Expressed Reluctance Or Misgivings But Havent Openly Dropped Their Backing
Paul Ryan and John Boehner, the former speakers of the House: Both have expressed their dislike of the president, but have not said whom they will support in November.
John Kelly, a former chief of staff to the president: Mr. Kelly has not said whom he plans to vote for, but did say he wished we had some additional choices.
Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska: She has said that shes grappling with whether to support Mr. Trump in November. She told reporters on Capitol Hill in June: I am struggling with it. I have struggled with it for a long time.
She said: I think right now, as we are all struggling to find ways to express the words that need to be expressed appropriately, questions about who Im going to vote for or not going to vote for, I think, are distracting at the moment. I know people might think thats a dodge, but I think there are important conversations that we need to have as an American people among ourselves about where we are right now.
Mr. Sanford briefly challenged the president in this cycles Republican primary, and said last year that he would support Mr. Trump if the president won the nomination .
That has since changed.
Hes treading on very thin ice, Mr. Sanford said in June, worrying that the president is threatening the stability of the country.
Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.
Analysis: Exodus Of Republican Voters Tired Of Trump Could Push Party Further Right
6 Min Read
WASHINGTON – A surge of Republicans quitting the party to renounce Donald Trump after the deadly Capitol riot could hurt moderates in next years primaries, adding a capstone to Trumps legacy as president: A potentially lasting rightward push on the party.
More than 68,000 Republicans have left the party in recent weeks in Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, crucial states for Democrats hopes of keeping control of Congress in the mid-term elections in 2022, state voter data shows.
Thats about three times the roughly 23,000 Democrats who left their party in the same states over the same time period.
Compared to the Republicans who stayed put, those who fled were more concentrated in the left-leaning counties around big cities, which political analysts said suggested moderate Republicans could be leading the defections.
If the exodus is sustained, it will be to the advantage of candidates in the Republican Partys nomination contests who espouse views that play well with its Trump-supporting base but not with a broader electorate.
That could make it harder for Republican candidates to beat Democrats in November, said Morris Fiorina, a political scientist at Stanford University.
If these voters are leaving the party permanently, its really bad news for Republicans, Fiorina said.
U.S. elections are administered by state governments rather than by Washington.
List Of Republicans Who Opposed The Donald Trump 2020 Presidential Campaign
|This article is part of a series about|
This is a list of Republicans and conservatives who opposed the re-election of incumbent Donald Trump, the 2020 Republican Party nominee for President of the United States. Among them are former Republicans who left the party in 2016 or later due to their opposition to Trump, those who held office as a Republican, Republicans who endorsed a different candidate, and Republican presidential primary election candidates that announced opposition to Trump as the presumptive nominee. Over 70 former senior Republican national security officials and 61 additional senior officials have also signed onto a statement declaring, “We are profoundly concerned about our nation’s security and standing in the world under the leadership of Donald Trump. The President has demonstrated that he is dangerously unfit to serve another term.”
A group of former senior U.S. government officials and conservativesincluding from the Reagan, Bush 41, Bush 43, and Trump administrations have formed The Republican Political Alliance for Integrity and Reform to, “focus on a return to principles-based governing in the post-Trump era.”
A third group of Republicans, Republican Voters Against Trump was launched in May 2020 has collected over 500 testimonials opposing Donald Trump.
Don’t Miss: How Many Registered Republicans In Texas
What This Means For The Republican Party
Understanding why MAGA, also known as the Republican base, supports Trump, reveals why the GOP cant break away from him: They are intensely loyal to Trump, motivated by status threat, and convert their anxiety and commitment into votes. If any Republican tries to do disavow Trump, they will face a primary challenge. Even those sure they would survive such a primary know that their political ambitions will need Trumps blessing.
For now, the party will remain in the hands of Trump and his acolytes. Thats likely to increase polarization, with Trump supporters passion for the former president matched only by his opponents revulsion. And MAGA supporters willingness to reject facts that do not reflect well on their leader is likely to continue to destabilize U.S. democracy.
Emboldened ‘unchanged’ Trump Looks To Re
The set of advisers around Trump now is a familiar mix of his top 2020 campaign aides and others who have moved in and out of his orbit over time. They include Miller, Susie Wiles, Bill Stepien, Justin Clark, Corey Lewandowski and Brad Parscale.
While his schedule isn’t set yet, according to Trump’s camp, his coming stops are likely to include efforts to help Ohio congressional candidate Max Miller, a former White House aide looking to win a primary against Rep. Anthony Gonzales, who voted to impeach Trump this year; Jody Hice, who is trying to unseat fellow Republican Brad Raffensperger as Georgia secretary of state after Raffensperger defied Trump and validated the state’s electoral votes; and Alabama Senate candidate Mo Brooks, according to Trump’s camp.
Trump’s ongoing influence with Republican voters helps explain why most GOP officeholders stick so closely to him. Republicans spared him a conviction in the Senate after the House impeached him for stoking the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, House GOP leaders have made it clear that they view his engagement as essential to their hopes of retaking the chamber, and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., was deposed as Republican Conference Chair this year over her repeated rebukes of Trump.
Those numbers suggest that Trump could be in a strong position to win a Republican primary but lose the general election in 3½ years. A former Trump campaign operative made that case while discussing Trump’s ambitions.
Recommended Reading: Who Is Winning Democrats Or Republicans
How Bipartisan Is Democrats Infrastructure Plan
But Trumps continued popularity among key GOP constituencies prevents Republican insiders from undertaking a formal, public discussion about his political shortcomings and how the party should move on from him. Everyone in the GOP knows that irritating Trump could result in the former president attacking them, which would make them vulnerable to a primary challenge, with conservative activists likely backing their opponent. So there will be no autopsy of the post-Trump Republican Party, akin to the Republican National Committees report in 2013 following Romneys defeat, at least not in public.;
The Memo: What Now For Anti
Cheney and others of her ilk are not giving up. The question is what kind of impact they can have in their rhetorical guerrilla war against the former president and the GOP leaders whom they brand as his enablers.
For now, many are dispirited by Cheneys fall and what it says about the party writ large.
The outlook is grim, said Olivia Troye, who broke with Trumpism after having served as a staffer to then-Vice President Mike PenceMichael Richard PenceHillicon Valley Apple delays features to detect sexual exploitation‘QAnon Shaman’ pleads guilty to Capitol riot chargeBill Clinton fundraises for Terry McAuliffe in upstate New York MORE. Troye is now the director of the Republican Accountability Project.;
Referring to pro-Trump elected officials, Troye added: What we are seeing is, there is nothing they wont do to remain in power, even if it brings danger to this country.
Cheney is not going to slink away. In an interview with Savannah Guthrie of NBCs Today broadcast on Thursday morning, she promised to fight vigorously to retain her congressional seat and held the door open for a 2024 presidential campaign.
Cheney also reiterated her criticisms of Trump and his supporters within the GOP, saying the former president has established a cult of personality over the party.
People realize this is getting ridiculous, Comstock said. How much do you want to really associate yourself with fools like
The Memo is a reported column by Niall Stanage.
Don’t Miss: How Many Democrats Republicans Are In The Senate
Republicans And Their Declared Positions On Donald Trump
|Elected officials’ positions on Donald Trump|
|Federal:Republicans and their declared positions on Donald Trump Republicans supporting Donald Trump Republicans opposing Donald Trump|
|State and local:|
|Republican reactions to 2005 Trump tape|
In a typical general election year, elected officials readily line up behind their party’s presidential nominee. In 2012, for example, The Hill reported that only four Republican members of Congress had declined to endorse Mitt Romney by mid-September of that year. “All other House and Senate Republicans” had already endorsed the Republican nominee.
But 2016 was not a typical general election year.
Controversial comments from the GOP’s 2016 nominee, Donald Trump, about women, Muslims, Hispanics, and veterans who were prisoners of war caused some Republican lawmakers to distance themselves from the businessman, while others outright denounced him.
This page tracked the stances of Republican lawmakers on Trump throughout the 2016 presidential election: Did they support him? Did they oppose him? Or were they somewhere in between? The focus of this page is on Republican members of Congress and Republican governors, but we also have included some information on influential Republicans who have served in Republican presidential administrations.