Republican who dared to criticize Trump is getting crushed in Texas special election

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Anti-Trump Republican Michael Wood is polling at just 1% as early voting begins.

When Michael Wood announced he was running for Congress in Texas' 6th District, Politico wrote an article saying the overtly anti-Donald Trump Republican could "blaze a trail for the anti-Trump GOP."

But as early voting gets underway for the special election in the suburban Dallas seat, a new poll released Monday found Wood receiving a dismal 1% of the vote — a sign his candidacy has not caught on.

Wood announced he was running on April 5 in a video in which he openly criticized Trump, saying Trump's "actions since Election Day have forfeited his right to ever lead my party again."

"We are not the party of conspiracy theories and QAnon, we can be again the party of ideas," Wood goes on to say in the video, adding that he will work to "rebuild the party of Lincoln."

Wood's tough talk against Trump earned him an endorsement from Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) — one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, and who has been vocal in his belief that the GOP needs to move on from the former commander-in-chief. And other anti-Trump Republicans, like commentator Bill Kristol, have encouraged the GOP base to support Wood.

But the poll, conducted by the firm Meeting Street and published by the Washington Free Beacon, suggests Wood's anti-Trump message doesn't appear to be working even in Texas' 6th District, a historically Republican suburban Dallas seat that's trended more Democratic in the Trump era. Trump carried the seat by 12 points in 2016, a margin that shrunk to just 3 points in 2020.

The seat is vacant because former Rep. Ron Wright (R-TX) died after contracting the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, two of the GOP frontrunners in the race, have embraced Trump.

Susan Wright, the widow of the late congressman, said in her campaign announcement that her husband "was a staunch defender of President Trump and his America-First agenda, voting in line with the President over 96% of the time" and that she will "continue focusing" on those issues.

Candidate Brian Harrison has also touted his ties to Trump in the race. Harrison, who was chief of staff at the Department of Health and Human Services during the Trump administration, has used photos of himself with Trump in ads, as well as on his campaign website, which also uses Trump's "America First" slogan.

It's the latest sign that the GOP base is not ready to quit the former commander-in-chief.

Other national polls have shown that Republican voters still want Trump to lead their party, with a Quinnipiac survey from Feb. 15 finding that 75% of Republicans "would like to see Trump play a prominent role in the Republican Party."

And that could be a problem for Republicans, as that same Quinnipiac survey found that while GOP voters still want Trump around, the country as a whole does not, with 55% saying that Trump "should not be allowed to hold elected office in the future."

"He may be down, but he is certainly not out of favor with the GOP," Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy said in a news release about the survey. "Twice impeached, vilified by Democrats in the trial, and virtually silenced by social media... despite it all, Donald Trump keeps a solid foothold in the Republican Party."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.