Republicans are making a 'gigantic bet' heading into the 2022 midterm elections
Kevin McCarthy on Facebook.

Republicans are going all-in on Donald Trump heading into the 2022, even though the former president remains unpopular in the polls.

"Locked out of Facebook, marooned in Mar-a-Lago and mocked for an amateurish new website, Donald J. Trump remained largely out of public sight this week. Yet the Republican Party's capitulation to the former president became clearer than ever, as did the damage to American politics he has caused with his lie that the election was stolen from him," Lisa Lerer reported for The New York Times on Saturday.

"In Washington, Republicans moved to strip Representative Liz Cheney of her House leadership position, a punishment for denouncing Mr. Trump's false claims of voter fraud as a threat to democracy. Lawmakers in Florida and Texas advanced sweeping new measures that would curtail voting, echoing the fictional narrative from Mr. Trump and his allies that the electoral system was rigged against him. And in Arizona, the state Republican Party started a bizarre re-examination of the November election results that involved searching for traces of bamboo in last year's ballots," she explained. "The churning dramas cast into sharp relief the extent to which the nation, six months after the election, is still struggling with the consequences of an assault by a losing presidential candidate on a bedrock principle of American democracy: that the nation's elections are legitimate."

"They also provided stark evidence that the former president has not only managed to squelch any dissent within his party but has persuaded most of the G.O.P. to make a gigantic bet: that the surest way to regain power is to embrace his pugilistic style, racial divisiveness and beyond-the-pale conspiracy theories rather than to court the suburban swing voters who cost the party the White House and who might be looking for substantive policies on the pandemic, the economy and other issues," she wrote. "The loyalty to the former president persists despite his role in inciting his supporters ahead of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, with his adherents either ignoring, redefining or in some cases tacitly accepting the deadly attack on Congress."

Also on Saturday, The Washington Post reported on a GOP poll showing Trump's unfavorable image in the key districts that will determine which party controls the House of Representatives.

"When staff from the National Republican Congressional Committee rose to explain the party's latest polling in core battleground districts, they left out a key finding about Trump's weakness, declining to divulge the information even when directly questioned about Trump's support by a member of Congress, according to two people familiar with what transpired. Trump's unfavorable ratings were 15 points higher than his favorable ones in the core districts, according to the full polling results, which were later obtained by The Washington Post. Nearly twice as many voters had a strongly unfavorable view of the former president as had a strongly favorable one," the newspaper reported.

Amy Walter, the editor of the Cook Political Report, thinks Republicans may simply ignore any unfavorable poll data on Trump.