Editor’s Note: Years ago, we started calling them the True Cons. The hallmark of these people is their well known commitment to upholding the truest conservative principles which is why they voted for Joe Biden and write for The Daily Beast and The Washington Post and launched the Lincoln Project and have regular gigs virtue signaling on CNN and MSNBC. Remember, people respect us!
ICYMI: Donald Trump is the reason Republicans couldn’t coherently oppose the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill. pic.twitter.com/Jpwkwpgd74— Matt Lewis (@mattklewis) March 13, 2021
The new Fabrizio Lee polls tells us a lot about the composition of the post-Trump Republican Party and confirms what we have seen in other recent polls. Republican establishment voters are now the disaffected wing of the party and have declined to 15% of Republican voters.
This poll is specifically about Donald Trump and his current standing in the Republican Party. It doesn’t ask about values and ideology although that is at the core of the divide between these Never Trump voters and the rest of the Republican Party. Specifically, the Never Trumpers or True Cons or Free Marketeers or Business Conservatives or Republican establishment voters, whatever you want to call the people who dominated the party from the 1980s to Trump are out of touch with everyone else.
Donald Trump has a 81% approval rating in the Republican Party.
Interestingly though, Trump has a nearly 100% job approval rating among all factions of the Republican Party except the Never Trumpers. 75% of these people disapprove of his job performance and 100% of them see him in a negative light. Trump gained nothing from pandering to them. This is why lots of Republicans mysteriously ran ahead of Trump in the 2020 election. True Cons split their ballots and either voted for Joe Biden or didn’t vote for Trump while voting for other Republican down ballot.
51% of Republicans would vote for Trump in the 2024 primary. This is a similar number to the 55% who said they would in the CPAC straw poll.
100% of True Cons who are 15% of the Republican Party would vote against Trump in the 2024 primary. 100% of Diehard Trumpers would vote for Trump who are 27% of the Republican Party. 80% of Infowars GOP would vote for Trump who are 10% of the Republican Party.
Interestingly though, 80% of Post-Trump GOP identifies more with the Republican Party than with Donald Trump, which suggests they are not his crowd. Who are these people?
51% of Republicans want a Trump Republican.
37% of Republicans want a Reagan Republican.
12% of Republicans (i.e., True Cons) want a Bush Republican.
We can plainly see in these numbers who is who in the post-Trump Republican Party:
- Never Trumpers are True Cons or Free Marketeers or Business Conservatives or Republican establishment voters.
- Post-Trump GOP are mostly what used to be the Republican base or the Ted Cruz voters or the paleocons or the Country First Conservatives or the Staunch Conservatives.
- Infowars GOP are a swath of the Anti-Elites or the Alt-Lite that can be summarized as rightwing populist/conspiracy voters. These people are Trump voters, not Republican voters.
- Diehard Trumpers are mainstream MAGA or a mix of Anti-Elites and the American Preservationists or the Market Skeptic Republicans also known as the nationalists or populists. There is significant overlap between this group and conservative leaning White Nationalists.
- Trump Boosters are a grab bag of Anti-Elites, American Preservationists and Staunch Conservatives who are pro-Trump although two thirds of them were Republican base voters prior to Trump’s run in 2016.
For the record, this is how they poll on Donald Trump’s standing in the Republican Party. It would be interesting to see how this lines up with values and ideology.
Finally, we see that the strongest Republicans are now the newcomers – Trump voters and Republican base voters – while 82% of True Cons now say that they are not so strong Republican voters.
The demographic breakdown of Republican voters tells us a lot. Never Trumpers or True Cons are overrepresented among the following categories: moderate/liberal, college graduates, suburbanites, +$100K households, pro-choice voters and non-evangelicals.
Diehard Trumpers (the most enthusiastic Trumpers) are overrepresented among the following categories: very conservative and >$50K households. They are underepresented among: somewhat conservative, college graduates and +$100K households. Never Trumpers are more likely to live in wealthy suburbs while Diehard Trumpers are more likely to live in rural areas.
What does the term “conservative” mean though?
This is the key difference. True Cons or Republican establishment voters tend to be college educated, upper middle class suburbanites with modernist and cosmopolitan values. They describe themselves as moderate/liberal in ideology because of their social views. These people are the deficit hawks or diehard neoliberals on economics. In contrast, the Trump voters who used to be Democrats or Indies are populists who are more far more conservative on social issues, but much less so on economics than True Cons. The media calls them the “far right” because of their views purely on social issues.