Trump’s grip on the GOP loosens ever so slightly

Trump’s grip on the GOP loosens ever so slightly

The 10 House Republicans who ultimately voted to impeach President Donald Trump represent a tiny fraction of the GOP conference — fewer than 5 percent.

It’s the clearest signal that — for now — it’s still Trump’s party, even after losing the White House and taking the Republican Senate majority down with him.

The proceedings on Wednesday reaffirmed that Trumpism will outlive the president’s time in the White House. Of the 211 Republicans in the House, 82 of them took office during the president’s first term — meaning they have witnessed first hand his animating hold on the base. No freshmen members from deep red seats broke ranks –in fact many proved to be the president’s most loyal defenders. And almost none of the more dynamic and diverse members who ousted Democrats in 2020 ultimately decided to impeach.

At the same time, there are signs that Trump’s influence is waning after the deadly riot at the Capitol. And in the absence of a standard-bearer in the post-Trump era, the impeachment vote suggested the emergence of a small opening for alternative positioning.

Here are four lessons learned about the GOP from the Republicans who voted to impeach the president:

The ‘conscience’ voters

There are four House Republicans representing deep red districts who had little to gain politically from their decision to impeach and appear to have cast their vote out of deep unease with the events of Jan. 6.

But of all the House Republicans, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) may have risked more than any other by bucking her party’s majority and casting a perilous vote from an at-large district that gave Trump 70 percent of its vote.

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