I've seen quite of lot of reporting about the number of republicans who agree with Trump that the election was rigged or stolen.

Politico Reuters Vox (Jan)

In this question the most popular answer asserts that poor behaviour by party leaders would be punished at subsequent elections. The quote below references behaviour around committee assignments, it is not directly about the Stop the Steal situation.

But then the retribution would be swift and severe. The majority party would become the minority party at the next election. Only those in bluest of blue districts when the Democrats are in the majority (or those in the reddest of red districts when the Republicans are in the majority) would see such a move as a good thing.

Is there any polling on if Trump's behaviour has had an effect like this?

Is there any data on voters intending to change their future party preference based on the actions of Trump or the Republican leadership during the 'Stop the Steal' period?

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    I guess part of the question is, do Trump supporters generally consider his behaviour to be “bad”?
    – Tim
    Feb 7, 2021 at 14:06
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    I think any poll with a severely non socially acceptable answer will be vastly underrepresented. See also: Any poll about sex, virginity, drug use and so on... Feb 7, 2021 at 15:52
  • 5
    Georgia (was it Georgia?) senate elections were a good indication that the Republicans were punished for Trump's behaviour.
    – gnasher729
    Feb 7, 2021 at 16:02
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    @gnasher729 That's correct. It was Georgia, and also Alabama in 2018. That Alabama election was a very special case. The Republican primary chose a candidate who was about as unelectable as could be for that special election. The Republicans would have fared much better had they chosen a college football coach with zero background in politics back in 2018. They did choose a college football coach with zero background in politics as their candidate in 2020, and he won. Feb 7, 2021 at 16:05
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    @jamesqf It's hard to say whether that dropoff is because of people frustrated with Trump or rather that they were frustrated with Republicans not coming to Trump's aid. Someone who blames Trump for the riot and leaves the party over it is indistinguishable from someone who is upset with the Republican establishment for not rallying around Trump and leaves the party over it.
    – Ryan_L
    Feb 7, 2021 at 20:07

1 Answer 1


What polling I've seen suggests that Trump still holds (lessened) sway within the GOP, but there are a lot of difficulties judging the meaningfulness of polling this far out from the next election cycle even in the best of cases, and current conditions do not represent a 'best case' scenario for pollsters. Things to consider:

First, Republicans are still in crisis after the events of January, making attitudes fluid. The ideology/mythology surrounding Trump has run up against reality is some seriously jarring ways: the (for most people) unexpected violence on Jan 6, Trump's implicit concession by leaving the White House, the various expected outcomes that simply did not materialize (proof of voting fraud, martial law, retention of congressional control, action by Pence or state legislatures, the 'righteous' removal of Biden by other means, etc). Many people are still clinging to the Trumpist worldview, but that worldview is producing a tremendous amount of cognitive dissonance, and cognitive dissonance on that level usually leads to schism: some die-hards will double down on the original vision, while the less committed will start to deflect, deny, and depart (note the numbers of capitol rioters and far-right groups who have explicitly stated they feel betrayed by Trump, and rejected his leadership). Whether or not Trumpism will still have the influence needed to alter Congressional races two years from now — after an ongoing drain of those who flip away from an increasingly disturbing and losing position — is an open question.

Second, Trump himself is notoriously transactional, and has never shown any indicators of long-term planning or loyalty. In two years time, Trump may decide it's in his personal interest to back Cheney and toss Greene under the bus, and those who are still influenced by him will follow suit. Trump may even decide that he is sick of actual politics, and turn his influencing capabilities to other avenues. So even if polls suggest that significant numbers will remain loyal to Trump, it isn't at all clear that Trump of 2022 will have any political continuity with Trump of 2021.

Third, a lot rides on Biden's first 100 days. Trump based his politics on the exploitation of grievance; Biden's agenda is largely (though subtly) aimed at removing the grievances that Trump exploited. Note, for example, how he talks about revitalizing communities that have traditionally been dependent on the fossil fuel industry by bringing in green-tech jobs, making an outwardly progressive policy point attractive to a significant section of the GOP base. If Biden succeeds in removing those grievances, Trump's style of politics will lose impact (at least outside of certifiably aggrieved groups, like white supremacists and conspiracy theorists). Biden (I think) is counting on the fact that most people, most of the time, just want good prospects, and that giving them those prospects will ease a lot of political tensions.

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    I think this is useful and interesting, so it has my +1. I'm just not sure it's more than "wait and see" as an answer.
    – Jontia
    Feb 8, 2021 at 21:58

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