The G.O.P. and Public Opinion

Business News
Spread the love


Want to get The Morning by email? Here’s the sign-up.

The Republican Party of the past won elections by persuading most Americans that it would do a better job than Democrats of running the country. Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon and Dwight Eisenhower each won at least 57 percent of the vote in their re-election campaigns. George W. Bush won 51 percent, largely by appealing to swing voters on national security, education, immigration and other issues. A party focused on rebuilding a national majority probably could not stay tethered to Trump.

But the modern Republican Party has found ways other than majority support to achieve its goals.

It benefits from a large built-in advantage in the Senate, which gives more power to rural and heavily white states. The filibuster also helps Republicans more than it does Democrats. In the House and state legislatures, both parties have gerrymandered, but Republicans have done more of it. In the courts, Republicans have been more aggressive about putting judges on the bench and blocking Democratic presidents from doing so. In the Electoral College, Democrats currently waste more votes than Republicans by running up large state-level victories.

All of this helps explain Trump’s second acquittal. The Republican Party is in the midst of the worst run that any party has endured — across American history — in the popular vote of presidential elections, having lost seven of the past eight. Yet the party has had a pretty good few decades, policy-wise. It has figured out how to succeed with minority support.

Republican-appointed justices dominate the Supreme Court. Republicans are optimistic they can retake control of both the House and the Senate next year (even if they win fewer votes nationwide). Taxes on the wealthy are near their lowest level in a century. Democrats have failed to enact many of their biggest priorities — on climate change, Medicare, the minimum wage, preschool, gun control, immigration and more.

Yes, Trump’s acquittal bucks public opinion. But it still might not cost the Republicans political power.

More on impeachment:

  • McConnell’s actions — voting for acquittal while upbraiding Trump — was an attempt “to both satisfy Trump supporters and appeal to Republicans who are repulsed by Trump,” Carl Hulse, The Times’s chief Washington correspondent, says.

  • President Biden wanted Trump to be convicted, but the quick trial at least allows Biden to get moving on his agenda, starting with a virus-relief bill.

  • At least six people who worked as security guards for Roger Stone, a Trump ally, stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, a Times investigation found.

  • The acquittal revived speculation about the electoral prospects of Trump’s daughter-in-law.





Source link

Leave a Reply