Republicans Have Mostly Stayed Loyal to Their Party In the Trump Era

Whenever the topic of Donald Trump’s continuing popularity among Republicans comes up, somebody asks if maybe it’s just an artifact of the polling. If moderates are abandoning the Republican Party because of Trump, then simple arithmetic says that most of the folks who are left will be big fans. So then: are people abandoning the Republican Party? Luckily, Charles Franklin has just taken a look and here are his results:

Roughly speaking, not much has happened. Since 2016, Democratic Party ID has been flat at about 46 percent and Republican Party ID is slightly down from 42 percent to 41 percent. There’s just not a lot going on here.

I’ve chosen to highlight the chart that includes leaners, since a lot of research shows that leaners are as reliably Republican as self-professed partisans.¹ They just don’t like to admit it for some reason. However, Franklin has a full set of charts in this thread, including party ID charts that exclude leaners. They show a little more movement—around 4 percentage points—but that’s still a pretty modest amount, and they’ve probably just migrated from Republican to Lean Republican anyway.

Bottom line: at most, there’s been a slight decline in the number of self-IDed Republicans over the past couple of years. But for practical purposes, it’s about zero. All those Republicans who say they love Donald Trump are the same ones who loved Mitt Romney and John McCain and George Bush. They’re just Republicans.

¹Ditto for Democratic leaners.

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate