A new report alleges that President Donald Trump has talked with allies about ending his tenure as a Republican and forming a new party after his relationships with key GOP figures have deteriorated in recent weeks.
Sources told the Wall Street Journal that Trump discussed the idea of launching a new party with aides last week, and that he wanted to call it the “Patriot Party.”
Serious consideration of a new party comes as GOP leaders like Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have blamed Trump for inciting violence at the Capitol earlier this month, and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and nine other Republicans voted with House Democrats to impeach him over the claims, the Washington Examiner reported.
McConnell has even suggested he’s open to voting to convict Trump in an upcoming Senate impeachment trial, ostensibly meant to remove a president who is already gone.
“We will be back”
Trump, for his part, told his supporters this week that they haven’t seen the end of him as a political figure, but his vagueness about the form of his return left the door wide open for the launch of a third party.
“We will be back in some form,” Trump said before flying to Mar-a-Lago on Wednesday ahead of Biden’s inauguration ceremony, according to the Examiner.
Others have speculated that Trump could run as a Republican in 2024, or that he might start his own conservative media company to challenge Fox News, which faced criticism in the wake of November’s election for its handling of the results and its treatment of Trump’s claims of voter irregularities.
Forbes noted that social media and internet searches for “third party” and “Patriot Party” exploded after the Wall Street Journal story broke, and that a page called Patriot Party already had 95,000 followers on Twitter.
A look ahead
Still, the Daily Wire reported that top Republicans had told the outlet they thought a new party was a bad idea and would only split GOP votes, effectively ensuring that Democrats would win every election.
Conventional wisdom agrees with these Republicans, but it’s possible that if a significant number of moderate Democrats decide to move back to a Trumpless Republican Party that they think fits their ideals, Trump could take the 40% to 45% of all voters who still back him and win over both established parties in the next election.
Particularly if Biden and Harris move far to the left and the Republican Party doesn’t try very hard to stop them, there could be an opening for a more conservative party that would get the kind of support needed to win congressional seats and even the presidency.
Copyright experts say Trump could have trouble with the “Patriot Party” name, but here’s another idea: call it the America First Party. A name like that could give the movement Trump created a lasting legacy and make a strong statement that tens of millions of Americans are sick of the political status quo in this country.