Nearly half of Republicans would “prefer to ditch this whole democracy thing,” Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell wrote in a Monday op-ed, citing a poll that Rampell said shows almost half of Republicans “are now saying the quiet part out loud.”
So finds CBS News-YouGov polling conducted in mid-May. The survey asked Republicans a series of questions about the required level of fealty to former president Donald Trump, their views of the 2020 election and priorities for the party going forward.
The results were bleak.
Two-thirds said it was “important” for Republicans to be “loyal to Donald Trump now.” The same share said they did not believe President Biden was the legitimate winner of the 2020 election. (They apparently missed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) recent assertion that “I don’t think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election.”)
But the most troubling results came from a question about the party’s best strategy for winning in 2022 and 2024. If you were consulting for the party, respondents were asked, would you focus on developing a message and “popular policies and ideas” to win over more voters? Or would you prioritize changes to the voting rules in states and districts?
A whopping 47 percent chose the latter option. In other words, nearly half of those who still identify as Republicans appear to have given up on a key premise of democracy: that you earn the right to govern by proposing ideas that appeal to a majority of the public. They’d prefer to short-circuit that process and, instead, make it harder for their opponents to vote.
Image credit: Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr