In a stunning Tuesday report, Rasmussen has revealed a new survey of likely voters shows 53 percent of identified Republicans think it is a “good idea” for former President Donald Trump to start a third party, while only 30 percent of GOP respondents think the notion is not so hot.
That can’t be good news for establishment Republicans, but it might be a wake-up call.
Among all voters, Rasmussen reported, 41 percent think a third party with Trump at the helm would be a good idea, including 29 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of independent voters. However, 45 percent think it would be a bad move. The poll was conducted Jan. 21 and 24 among 1,000 likely voters.
The news comes as the U.S. Senate is preparing for a second impeachment vote that saw five Republican senators voting with Democrats to reject an effort by fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul to reject the impeachment effort on the grounds of constitutionality, since they would be voting to impeach a private citizen who is no longer president. According to The Hill, the five are identified as Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski from Alaska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
The Wall Street Journal is suggesting conviction in the Senate may be unlikely, however.
As for a Trump third party, there are may be more negatives than positives. It would split the traditional conservative vote between the existing Republican party and the new Trump-led effort, essentially guaranteeing Democrat wins in many if not most states. Evidence of that can be found in vote tallies from November, when Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen pulled in enough votes in at least three key states to swing them to Biden.
In Arizona, Jorgensen’s 51,465 votes would have put Trump over the top, had they been cast for him. In Georgia, Trump came up short by around 12,000 votes while Jorgensen pulled in 62,229 votes. In Wisconsin, according to The Guardian, Biden drew some 20,000 more votes than Trump. That would have changed had Jorgensen’s 38,491 votes gone to the president.
Overall, however, Biden still came out ahead in the right states with enough Electoral College votes. Trump still would have needed to win Pennsylvania and Michigan.
What the survey suggests is that many Republican voters want candidates who are not “Democrat Lite” but solid conservatives. They have four years to find such candidates for the presidency, and only two years to find them in enough states to take back Capitol Hill.
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