Recent polling shows that American Republicans are more likely to support President-elect Donald Trump’s positions on key issues than those of the GOP establishment.
According to data from Rasmussen, 53 percent of Americans support the GOP’s positions. And 37 percent of Americans overall say they strongly identify with Trump’s positions, compared to just 16 percent who said they identify with the positions of the average Republican lawmaker and 37 percent with those of the average congressional Democrat.
But when you break the Rasmussen numbers down further, something funny happens.
Among Americans who describe themselves as Republicans, a remarkable 63 percent say they believe Trump’s views align closely with their own. Just 27 percent, meanwhile, said they feel in step with the average GOP congressman.
This could be a blessing and a curse for the American conservative movement.
On one hand, if Trump attempts to lead the nation as an autocrat and ignores constitutional limitations to his power, conservative Americans risk doing great damage to the nation by failing to question his abuses of power because the agree with his policy positions. This is something we’ve seen occur on the left over the past 8 years, as traditional liberal support for free speech, transparency and peace eroded because of a cult of personality built around the current president.
On the other hand, if Trump makes good on his promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington and aligns himself with GOP lawmakers just outside the establishment, it the conservative movement could be in for a much needed correction.
As Rasmussen noted, most Republicans on the street have for years felt the party is out of touch with the average voters:
Seventy-six percent (76%) of GOP voters told Rasmussen Reports last March that Republicans in Congress have lost touch with their party’s base. That’s consistent with Republican voter attitudes for years but was the highest finding since we first asked this question just after Election Day in November 2008. Democrats have always been much more enthusiastic about their congressional representatives.
We’re seeing some promising headlines, such as news that Trump is considering working with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a favorite among small government types, to devise a replacement for Obamacare. But only time will tell how the president-elect will use the considerable support he has from average Americans.
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