The Republican Party may be high on Donald Trump, but key voters not so high, the Washington Post reported on Saturday.
Data from internal GOP polls revealing Trump’s weak numbers in key battlefield districts have been kept under wraps by the Republican National Congress Committee during recent retreats for Republican lawmakers, sources told the Post. NRCC staff members reportedly withheld the bad news even when a congressman asked questions directly about Trump’s position during a retreat last month for GOP House members, according to the newspaper.
The Post later got the full results, revealing that Trump’s negative ratings were 15 points higher than his favorable ratings in “inner city”. In addition, nearly twice as many voters had a very unfavorable opinion of him than those who had a strongly favorable opinion in these areas, the newspaper reported.
The NRCC’s internal poll found that President Joe Biden was dangerously popular (for the GOP) in major battlefield districts, with 54% favorability. Vice President Kamala Harris was also more popular than Trump.
Trump’s low numbers were also reportedly heavily downplayed during a March retreat to rank GOP committee chairs. Both situations revealed that the GOP leadership was eager to withhold information to dodge the truth about Trump and the possible damage he could cause in a future election. Debate over Trump’s potentially negative impact on swing neighborhoods is likely to intensify as vulnerable Republicans prepare for re-election.
The poll numbers were part of a long story in the Post about Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) And her battle with her colleagues over Trump. She has repeatedly criticized the former president for his lie that the presidential election was rigged and for his incitement to the Capitol uprising. Trump’s low numbers could further fuel his fight. Cheney’s dissent could result in his removal from the House leadership in an upcoming vote on Wednesday.
Despite the internal numbers – and the loss of Trump in the presidential election – the Republican Party seems to be on its side more than ever.
Still, GOP leaders seem puzzled as to where to turn. Senator Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) told Fox News Thursday night that the Republican Party “cannot grow without” Trump. “There is no building where the party can be successful without him,” Graham said.
But Cheney warned in an op-ed earlier this week: “The Republican Party is at a crossroads. Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and loyalty to the Constitution.
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