The way that these voters attach to Trump rather than anyone else can be seen in another value in the poll. When asked if they believed the election was “stolen,” a jaw-dropping 40% of Americans still said yes, over a week after the assault on the Capitol. But when asked if Republicans who voted against certifying the vote were “protecting democracy,” only 37% agreed. Even when Republicans were doing exactly what Trump asked them to do, they still got lower marks than Trump himself.
There was an interesting split on views of the actual insurgency. Asked if the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol represented “a coup attempt,” 53% of Americans agreed—within a point of those in the poll who said they did not vote for Trump. However, when asked if the attack was “an act of terrorism,” the number rose to 60%. That number indicates that even some of those who voted for Trump were upset over the the sight of a mob prowling the halls of Congress. That number was apparently confirmed by the 62% who agreed that everyone who broke into the Capitol building should be arrested. And still, the guy who instigated the attack is polling far higher than other Republicans.
Finally, a plurality of voters want to see both Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley kicked out of the Senate. In Hawley’s case, that includes at least some voters who went for Trump.
Everything in the poll seems to indicate that Trump voters remain Trump voters, not Republican voters. If there remains a core of non-Trump Republicans, they are vanishingly small. As the GOP tries to separate itself from the angry guy leaving the room, it’s completely unclear how many of those Trump voters are ready to come back into their ranks without Big Orange at the lead. With a 11% favorable rating for McConnell, and a 20% rating for McCarthy … just who is the leader of the Republican Party going into 2021?
One possible side effect of this deep schism in the Republican Party is that it may make it easier for McConnell and other Republicans to support Trump’s impeachment. To coin a phrase: What do you have to lose?