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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Impeachment and Polarization

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 campaign, where Trump suggested that he would not acknowledge defeat.  His legal challenges to the election of Joseph Biden have toggled between appalling and farcical.    But his base continues to believe the bogus narrative.


Yesterday, Trump's insurrection resulted in his impeachment, 232-197.

All Democrats voted for impeachment.  All of the no votes came from Republicans, but 10 Republicans risked harassment and defeat to vote yes.

As for the rest of the GOP, Mike Allen reports:

Just look at the numbers:
  • Two-thirds of House Republicans voted to decertify the election results — in the hours after an insurrection.
  • 93% of House Republicans voted against impeachment yesterday.
In an Axios-Ipsos poll taken Tuesday and yesterday:
  • 64% of Republicans said they support Trump's recent behavior.
  • 57% of Republicans said Trump should be the 2024 GOP candidate.
  • Only 17% think he should be removed from office.
House and Senate Republicans tell me they strongly believe Trump will remain a force in the party's 2022 and 2024 races — even if he were to be convicted in the forthcoming Senate trial, and barred from holding federal office himself.
  • One reason he may escape conviction is that some top Republicans believe that would make him a martyr and actually empower him. They'd rather let him fade away.
  • Fox News' Tucker Carlson said last night: "By impeaching the president during his final week in office, Congress will not succeed in discrediting Trump among Republican voters. In fact, it will enhance Donald Trump among Republican voters. Obviously!"
Between the lines: A majority of Republicans in the poll — 56% — consider themselves traditional Republicans; 36% call themselves Trump Republicans.