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Rasmussen Reports recently conducted a poll which concluded that 72 % of Republicans believe the GOP should emulate Donald J. Trump, while at the same time, 52 % felt that the party would be better served with a new person running for president in 2024. The survey conducted between December 21st and 22nd of 2020, placed the president even above Republican members of Congress as the role model for the party to pursue in the future. What does this all mean?
To appreciate the cited poll more adequately, one must include certain determining factors. Rasmussen Reports, founded in 2003, is one of the nation’s top recognized polling companies. This particular poll consisted of surveying 1,000 likely national voters utilizing an automated polling methodology. This mechanism employs a single, digitally recorded voice to call randomly selected phone numbers to carry out a short interview to responsive voters. Pulse Opinion Research, the company contracted by Rasmussen to execute the task, assures that the geographic representation is appropriately distributed. In cases where landline telephone answering is a problem, an online survey tool is used. It should be noted that other reputable polling companies, like Gallup, Harris, and Roper, also use identical automated survey process systems.
Can this type of pulse taking be reflective, in this case, to grasp the sentiment of GOP voters as to whom or what should be the aspiring moldel? The Rasmussen poll claims a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points with a 95 % level of confidence. The two questions were pretty straight forward:
1. As the Republican Party reorganizes itself next year, should it be more like President Trump or more like the average GOP member of Congress?
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2. Should Republicans look for a fresh face to run for president in 2024, or should they promote a candidate who has already run in the past?
Casting aside doubts as to the accuracy about most telephone surveys given our digital age and the limited use of landline telephone and online surveys, regardless of the entity carrying it out, what the Rasmussen Reports recent poll results suggest is consistent with apparent trends from multiple sources.
The sociopolitical tsunami witnessed by Trump’s ascendency into the realm of public governance, has more to do with an occurring paradigmatic shift within American society and politics, than personalistic rule attributes of the 45th president. This is not to deny the fact that Trump bears an enormous credit for having struck a path for the forgotten and left behind and stood up to elite special interests and the 21st Century version of the “military-industrial complex” that Dwight D. Eisenhower coined and that some refer to today as the “deep state”.
In another 2019 Rasmussen Reports poll, 17 % of Democrats said that they identified with Trump. This was up from the 12 % figure of a year before, according to the survey. The enormous inward gains made by the incumbent Republican president in the 2020 election with Hispanic and black Americans, both formally solid Democratic voter bastions, consolidates the argument that the bonding towards Trump has more to do with ideological variables and considerations than with Trump himself.
A socially conservative, economic nationalistic, pious, progun, prolife, blue collar, anti-elitist, free enterprise, constitutionalist of multiethnic, multiracial, politically plural segments of American society has spontaneously enjoined itself since 2016.
The far-left, Marxist-inspired riots and territory takeovers by domestic terror actors such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa since May 2020, and some of their ensuing radical proposals like defunding the police, racial reparations, criminalizing free speech, Critical Race and Queer Theory indoctrination, etc., have all swollen the ranks of this Conservative, freedom-defending mass movement.
When one adds the authoritarianism exercised in some states by some governors in the course of a selective pandemic suppression of certain First Amendment rights, particularly those associated with religious liberties, highlights the deepening of this paradigmatic sociopolitical shift.
The second question addressed in the recent Rasmussen poll concludes that 52 % of Republican voters would prefer new blood in the 2024 presidential election bid. This would be consistent with the premise that the popular following Trump has generated has been predominantly due to the policies and moral positions he took and not necessarily his style or mannerisms. To a great degree, much of the vote that Trump garnered in 2016 but lost in 2020 among independents and college-graduated Republicans, for example, could be traced to a dislike for a perceived abrasiveness and bare-knuckled way of conducting politics.
Rasmussen’s recent survey, in an age where polling has fallen into great credible disrepair, appears to reflect a feasible reality. Close to three-quarters of Republicans appear to want the augmentation of the Trump Revolution. At the same time, a little over half of them would like a new general leading the charge.
Winston Churchill faced a similar phenomenon. One of the greatest (if not the greatest) statesman of the English people won the big war with the full support of the British people, yet they preferred someone else to lead them in peace. Ironies of life, perhaps. In Trump’s case, however, the movement he helped propel appears to be here to stay.
Julio M Shiling, political scientist, writer, director of Patria de Martí and The Cuban American Voice, lecturer and media commentator. A native of Cuba, he currently lives in the United States. Twitter: @JulioMShiling // Julio es politólogo, escritor, director de Patria de Martí y The Cuban American Voice. Conferenciante y comentarista en los medios. Natural de Cuba, vive actualmente en EE UU.