Joe Scarborough Cites New Polling Suggesting GOP Shift Away From Trump


Some of us have dream jobs that unfortunately involve the nightmare of having the television on MSNBC or CNN all day, every day,. One takes the good with the bad. And just like a teacher picks up the rhythms of the student body (tired, excited, stressed), and doctors pick up trends in health in a hospital, one can sense changes and trends in Washington, not so much through the talking heads on television, but by watching the interviews and words coming out from staffers and pols in Washington and in listening to reporters making vague references to things they’ve obviously heard on background and cannot come out and report directly.

Of late it has been obvious, Trump’s power has been waning and mainstream Republican pols have started to put some distance between themselves and Trump. Some might say, “So what! Shut up about him! He’s…” But Trump is – for now – still “the Republican Party” and one ignores him at one’s peril. Whether he remainsĀ  “the Republican Party personified” is entirely up in the air, but it is going the wrong direction for him, as noted by Scarborough this morning:

The Republican Party, something is happening. You see these polls that show now only [36] percent first identify as Trump supporters, 55 percent, 56 percent say they’re Republicans first. That’s a huge change

“You had [Sen.] Ron Johnson (R-WI) say, ‘Oh, I wasn’t concerned at all,’ while they were beating the hell out of officers with flags. Now you — the guy with bone structure like a bird, who is the guy? [Sen. Josh Hawley] has bone structure like a bird, it is very delicate, very delicate. Anyway, I’m so glad people can answer that question. But anyway, what’s happening with the Republican Party? There seems to be a shift and I think Trump is sensing it.

Of course, Trump is sensing it! Hardly a day goes by that he doesn’t hear that Barr, Short, Clark, and more, cooperating with the committee, he’s seen the fake Electoral College certificates explode out, him wanting voting machines seized, he’s endured the 187 minutes, the 8-1 SCOTUS ruling that has yanked his secrecy away, he reads what people say about him, and he knows the rolling average in donations. To the extent he’s no longer waxing, the wane shows up in less money.

It is easy to sense that there is a drift away from Trump. Ron DeSantis is in an open fight with Trump (though one has to look for it to see it), Lindsay Graham opposed Trump twice in one Sunday interview, disagreeing on Russia and saying it’s a mistake to pardon January 6th rioters. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, every single one of these politicians and many voters knows exactly what Trump was doing when he called for “the biggest demonstrations ever” if a prosecutor “does something illegal” (like arrest him because there will never be a “legal” charge). He is calling for war, just as he did last January, and Republicans, especially the politicians see the evidence coming out, the decreasing likelihood that Trump is a viable candidate in 2024, the danger in following him to this call to war, and – the fact that a Trump “endorsement” in a congressional race no longer is the “automatic” it once was.

Yes, the shift is very easy to pick up and this site has reported on each of these developments over the last couple of weeks, regular readers surely sense it, too. But one last thing to note, these patterns have a way of changing course faster than seems possible. Writing Trump off has been the wrong move at every point since 2015 and that is a lesson one picks up over time, too.