He may be off his second impeachment in a year, but the GOP is still the party of Donald Trump.
Even after a week of video evidence linking Trump’s words to a violent insurrection at the Capitol, and 57 senators voting to convict, Republican voters are apparently ready for Round 2.
The 45th U.S. president is now the clear choice of a majority of Republican voters should he choose to run in 2024, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll published Tuesday. 54 percent of Republican voters said they would vote for Trump in the 2024 primary, up from 42 percent in January in the immediate aftermath of the riot. (The new poll was taken February 14 and 15, following Trump’s acquittal by the Senate.)
If elected in 2024, Trump would be 78 years old and the first president elected to non-consecutive terms since Grover Cleveland took office a second time in 1893.
The only other Republican who received double-digit support in the poll was former Vice President Mike Pence, at 12 percent. Pence was slightly down from January, when he was polling at 16 percent. Trump’s eldest son, Donald Jr., polled with 6 percent support in a hypothetical 2024 primary including his father. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, and 2012 Republican nominee and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney all polled in the single digits.
Eleven percent of potential primary voters said they would vote for someone other than the top six candidates listed, which included Sen. Josh Hawley, who objected to the certification of Biden’s win, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, and two blue-state governors, Maryland’s Larry Hogan and Massachusetts’ Charlie Baker, among others. Florida Gov. and Trump ally Ron DeSantis was polling behind Cruz and Pence in a hypothetical primary, according to private polling viewed by Politico.
In addition, 75 percent of Republican voters want to see Trump “play a prominent role” in the GOP moving forward, according to a Quinnipiac poll taken between February 11 and February 14. What that role might be—as a candidate himself or as an “elder statesman”—is not defined, though 87 percent of Republican voters said in the same poll that Trump should be allowed to hold future elected office.
More than a month after the Jan. 6 riot, Republican voters actually became less convinced that Trump was at fault for what happened. While 41 percent of Republicans believed Trump was at least somewhat responsible for the insurrection, just 27 percent do now. Not only that, but 46 percent of Republicans surveyed said they believed Joe Biden was “somewhat responsible” for the riot.
But while the polling indicates that Trump is still very much the leader of the Republican Party, it also implies he has a much harder uphill climb to win over the electorate overall.
The Quinnipiac survey found that a majority of voters, 54 percent, hold Trump responsible for inciting violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, and that 45 percent believe he should face criminal charges. Another 55 percent say Trump shouldn’t be allowed to hold elected office in the future.
Following the conclusion of Trump’s impeachment trial Sunday, approval of Trump’s impeachment was at 58 percent among all voters, according to Morning Consult.
More pressing than his political future, Trump faces a litany of legal issues as well as he enters his post-presidency.
The former president was sued Tuesday, along with lawyer Rudy Giuliani and two white nationalist groups, by a Democratic congressman over his alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 riot. He’s also facing investigations in Georgia for potentially attempting to influence officials in the 2016 election, as well as New York over his business dealings.