Republican voters differ with some members of the Republican caucus in the U.S. Senate and House over President Donald Trump. For example, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) announced that he would not seek re-election in 2016. From the Senate floor, Flake severely criticized Trump. A new poll by Rasmussen Reports shows that Republican voters don’t back Flake or other senators who differ with Trump.
Rasmussen found in a national telephone and online survey that 57 percent of Likely Republican voters believe the GOP should more resemble the president. Only 33 percent feel the party should be more like Senate Republicans instead. However, the poll found that 48 percent of GOP voters think it is more important for Trump to keep incumbent Republicans on his side than for him to pursue his own agenda. Forty-two percent say it’s more important for the president to go his own way rather than worry about party unity.
The Rasmussen group found that 49 percent Republicans say it’s important to them that some GOP senators criticize Trump, while 32 percent say it is Very Important. For 47 percent, criticism emanating from GOP senators is unimportant, with 19 percent who say it is not at all important. .
Rasmussen Reports conducted a survey of 1,000 likely voters on October 26 and 29.
Other results include:
- 50 percent of Republican voters think Trump’s criticism of Republican senators is good for the country. Only 35 percent believe the president should continue to rely on congressional Republicans to pass his agenda.
- 71 percent of Democrats say the Republican Party should be more like GOP senators than like Trump, a view shared by a plurality -- 44 percent -- of unaffiliated voters.
- Democrats attach a lot more importance to the senators’ criticism of the president than Republican and unaffiliated voters do. Unaffiliated voters are the least concerned about Trump keeping other elected Republicans on his side.
- Among voters who believe the GOP should be more like Senate Republicans, 86 percent say the senators’ criticism of Trump is important to them. Sixty-six percent of those who want the Republican Party to be more like the president regard the criticism as unimportant.
- Of the voters who strongly approve of the job Trump is doing, 87 percent say the GOP should be more like him.81 percent of those who strongly disapprove of the president’s job performance think the party should be more like Senate Republicans.
Voters in general, including 38 percent of Republican voters, are more likely to believe Republicans in Congress are the bigger problem for Trump than Democrats are. 67 percent of of Republicans think their representatives in Congress have lost touch with the party's base, consistent with findings for years. Only 19 percent of Republicans – and 11 percent of all voters – rate the performance of the GOP-controlled Senate as good or excellent.
55 percent of GOP voters share an unfavorable opinion of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and 36 percent think it would be good for the country if McConnell stepped down.
Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.