Republican senators may continue to cower in fear of Donald Trump, but there's a mass exodus of voters from the registration rolls of their party in key swing states.
"More than 30,000 voters who had been registered members of the Republican Party have changed their voter registration in the weeks after a mob of pro-Trump supporters attacked the Capitol," reports TheHill.com.
That statistic doesn't begin to describe the depth of the party's problem, says the Hill:
"The massive wave of defections is a virtually unprecedented exodus that could spell trouble for a party that is trying to find its way after losing the presidential race and the Senate majority.
"It could also represent the tip of a much larger iceberg: The 30,000 who have left the Republican Party reside in just a few states that report voter registration data, and information about voters switching between parties, on a weekly basis.
"Voters switching parties is not unheard of, but the data show that in the first weeks of the year, far more Republicans have changed their voter registrations than Democrats. Many voters are changing their affiliation in key swing states that were at the heart of the battle for the White House and control of Congress."
Among the key states reporting voters scattering from the GOP since the first of the year are Pennsylvania (10,000), North Carolina (6,000) and Arizona (5,000). There is some corresponding reduction in Democratic Party rolls but that number "is a fraction of Republican defectors," reports the website.
It's possible that something about sedition and insurrection isn't sitting so well with at least a slice of GOP voters. Here's what Michael McDonald, a voting and elections expert at the University of Florida, told The Hill about the unusual amount of recent activity in voter registration moves:
"McDonald said those who would take the proactive step to change their registration are likely to be well-informed voters who both follow the news and are aware of the process by which they would change their actual registration.
"These people who are doing this activity, they are likely very sophisticated voters. They're highly participatory, most likely," he said. "If you're sophisticated enough to change your party registration, you're somebody who's likely to vote."
The exodus comes at a time the Republican Party is plagued with a widening civil war over Trump. Politico reports:
"The spate of threatened primary challenges ripping the party apart are uniformly about loyalty to Trump. The state-level intra-party spats that have made headlines in Arizona, Kentucky and Oregon are not about raising up the best political strategists to steer the local parties forward; they are about condemning Republicans who have criticized Trump. The GOP's potential 2024 aspirants are frozen in place, still being asked to respond to every scrap of Trump news and stuck in an endless cycle of political calculation about whether it's safe to unyoke themselves from him."
Here's the latest polling from Politico that illustrates the divide:
"Over half of Republican voters (56%) believe that Trump should either probably or definitely run for president again in 2024. Just over a third of Republican voters (36%) think he probably or definitely should not.
"Republicans and Republican-leaning independent voters are closely split between the Republican Party and the notional Patriot Party that Trump recently floated. A third (33%) said they are more interested in being a member of the Republican Party, and 30% said they would be more interested in being a member of the Patriot Party. A small share (11%) expressed interest in neither party."