WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump’s popularity with Republicans has increased in the wake of his impeachment trial, with 59 percent of GOP voters wanting Trump to play a major role in the party going forward, a new poll found.
A Politico/Morning Consult poll conducted in the days after the Senate trial in which he was acquitted Saturday found 59 percent of GOP voters want Trump to be heavily involved in the party’s future direction — up 18 percentage points from a poll conducted on Jan. 7, the day after the Capitol siege over which he was impeached and then tried.
The same poll found President Biden enjoying a solid 62 percent approval rating thanks to his overwhelming popularity with 92 percent of Democratic voters and 20 percent of GOP voters.
While the 2024 presidential race is still in the distance, all other contenders polled in the single digits, apart from former Vice President Mike Pence, who received a paltry 12 percent.
Following Pence in second place were Trump heir Donald Trump Jr. and former UN Ambassador Nikki Hayley, who tied at 6 percent.
GOP Sens. Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Josh Hawley, Tom Cotton and Rick Scott, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan all polled at less than 5 percent.
Trump’s takeover of the GOP defies severe public rebukes from some of the party’s most senior leaders, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who said in an op-ed published Monday that Trump’s behavior on the day of the siege was “unconscionable.”
“There is no question former President Trump bears moral responsibility. His supporters stormed the Capitol because of the unhinged falsehoods he shouted into the world’s largest megaphone,” he wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
Trump has been lying low at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach since leaving office on Jan. 20 but is still mulling a 2024 run and has vowed to help Republicans win back the Senate and House in 2022.
Seven Republican senators broke with their party to vote to convict Trump on Saturday, but the former president was still acquitted 57-43. Under Senate rules, two-thirds of the chamber must agree on conviction.
Meanwhile, the former president on Monday was greeted by hundreds of cheering fans who rallied to support him on Presidents’ Day in Florida.
The show of support followed the Senate vote Saturday to acquit Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot that disrupted certification of President Biden’s victory.