A year after former President Donald Trump left the White House and Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States, Trump continues to have considerable influence in the Republican Party. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a former Trump critic turned Trump sycophant, recently told Fox News that having a "working relationship" with Trump must be a litmus test for anyone in a GOP leadership role in Congress. But an NBC News poll, conducted in January 14-18, 2022, finds that many Republican voters identify as Republicans first and Trump supporters second.
Analyzing that poll in the New York Times on January 21, reporters Leah Askarinam and Blake Hounshell, explain, "Buried in a new survey published today is a fascinating nugget that suggests the Republican Party may not be as devoted to Trump as we've long assumed. Roughly every month for the last several years, pollsters for NBC News have asked: 'Do you consider yourself to be more of a supporter of Donald Trump or more of a supporter of the Republican Party?' Over most of that time, Republicans have replied that they saw themselves as Trump supporters first."
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Askarinam and Hounshell continue, "But the lines crossed beginning in January of last year — and as of this month, 56% of GOP voters said that they considered themselves more as Republicans, while only 36% said they identified more as Trump supporters…. Whatever the reasons behind the shift among GOP voters, it's safe to say that Trump's potential primary rivals are watching these numbers closely."
Hounshell, on January 21, tweeted:
Adam Jentleson, however, responded:
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