A new Morning Consult poll shows Republican voters moving back toward former President Donald Trump now that he has left office and Democrat Joe Biden has become president.
The number of Republican voters who said Trump should have a major role in the party after leaving office increased nine points to 50% in the poll, and his overall approval rating among Republican voters went from 76% to 81%.
The poll was taken January 23-25, and the gains are compared with a similar survey taken January 10-12, just days after protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol on the same day as a Trump rally was held. Women were the primary movers in the poll, according to analysis from The Hill, with a 15-point swing toward support for Trump in the survey.
Trump was widely blamed in the media, by Democrats, and by some Republicans for inciting the riot even though he did not call for any violence and specifically asked demonstrators to be peaceful.
A return to support
Voters who had begun to turn away from Trump after the riot have had more time to reject the media narrative, however, and some of them seem to have decided Trump may be getting a raw deal in the press.
Of course, nearly all Americans reacted with shock and disgust to the Capitol riot on January 6, and the media did everything they could to see that Trump was directly blamed.
But as they usually do, Democrats overreached in their efforts. Just one week later, Trump was impeached for a second time for “inciting” the violence–and the impeachment was done in less than a day, with no witness testimony.
Many Republicans saw the second impeachment as a political move against the entire party, and began to reject the narrative that Trump was responsible for the violence.
A third party?
One interesting finding in the poll concerned reports that Trump might start a third party if Republicans rejected him by voting for impeachment or conviction in a Senate trial.
30% of Republicans said they would be open to a Patriot Party led by Trump, and 35% of Trump voters said the same. These numbers are likely not high enough to give Trump a third party victory for a second term as president, and Trump has since backed off talk of going rogue in that way.
For now, it seems that Trump has enough Republican support to win another primary in 2024, and former Trump official Ric Grenell said Trump is interested in running again.
The way it looks now, we may need Trump to work some more miracles for the country after four years of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.