Even though President Donald Trump was soundly defeated in the 2020 presidential election, many Republican politicians are still pledging fealty to him, in part out of fear over what Trump supporters will do to them if they don't give him their total loyalty.
Conservative Washington Examiner columnist Philip Klein, however, believes that this would be a massive mistake by Republicans given that Trump is, as he describes it, "historically unpopular."
"He leaves office with a 34% approval rating as a lame duck, which is tied with George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, and just above the worst in history, Truman's 32% during the Korean War," writes Klein."Over the course of his presidency, Trump averaged approval of 41.1% -- the lowest by four points compared with any other post-World War II president. Even Carter was at 45.5%."
Given this, Klein argues that continuing to be the Trump Party will doom the GOP to future electoral defeats.
"Just 30% of independents approve of Trump, meaning that as long as the party is tied to him, they will have difficulty winning outside of already deeply Republican areas, which they would expect to win no matter what," he concludes. "So, while it might get ugly, the data are pretty clear that for Republicans to advance as a party, they are going to have to find a way to divorce themselves from Trump."