Republican approval numbers drop as they scramble to decide whether to back Trump

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A new Gallup poll found just 37% of Americans have a positive view of the Republican Party, as opposed to 48% who view Democrats favorably.

The image of the Republican Party has plummeted since the 2020 election, falling 6 percentage points, according to a new Gallup poll.

The decline in approval was driven by a loss of support by Republican voters themselves, with GOP support for their own party dropping 12 points since November, according to the survey.

That decline comes as the GOP finds itself torn between supporters who wanted Congress to overturn Donald Trump's loss, and others who are mad that Republicans are still backing Trump after his election lies and incitement of the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Since the insurrection, tens of thousands of Republicans have changed their voter registrations to leave the party, with those who left citing the GOP's embrace of Trump and his lies.

"I didn't leave the party," Kimrey Rhinehardt, a former Capitol Hill staffer and longtime North Carolina Republican, told the Charlotte News & Observer last month about why she changed her registration to independent. "The party left me. My belief system and my values remain unchanged."

Meanwhile, the Republican Party, at both the national and state levels, is a reckoning for the 10 members of Congress from their party who voted to impeach Trump.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), faced a vote of removal from her leadership role within the House Republican conference. While she ultimately didn't get ousted, 61 GOP lawmakers voted to do so. Cheney also faces a slew of primary challengers in her home state following her impeachment vote.

Other House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump have been censured by their state parties and are also facing possible primary challengers.

The hit the GOP is taking to its image poses a problem as it seeks to emerge from the political wilderness after losing the White House, along with its majorities in the House and Senate.

"With much of the decline in Republican Party favorability coming from Republicans themselves, the GOP faces a crossroads, as it decides whether to continue to be loyal to Trump, his political style and his favored policy positions or break with him," according to Gallup. "Currently, 60% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they want Trump to continue to lead the party, while 38% would prefer a new leader."

Meanwhile, the Gallup poll found the Democratic Party's image has improved since the 2020 election. Nearly half, or 48%, of voters view Democrats favorably, up from 45% in November.

That image boost comes as other polls have found the Democratic agenda is widely popular with the electorate.

For example, a new CBS News poll released Wednesday morning found broad bipartisan support among Americans for a big coronavirus relief bill like the one President Joe Biden is pushing for.

A whopping 83% say they support a new round of coronavirus relief. And just 20% of Americans said that they fear the relief bill will have too high a price tag — the argument Republicans are currently making to oppose the package.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.