According to a new poll, a small majority of self-identified Republicans think the Republican Party should try to win elections by getting more voters with policy and ideas, but that barely has an edge—53% to 47%—over Republicans who think their party should try to win by pushing for changes to state voting rules. And while that’s what average Republicans are saying, Republican lawmakers are, through their actions, making clear that the party’s priority leans way over in the direction of changing state voting rules and opposing federal legislation to strengthen voting rights.
The flood of new Republican voter suppression bills and laws in states across the country even includes jail time for poll workers who screw up in their high-pressure, low-paid jobs. That’s how serious this effort to crack down on voting is.
“These poll workers don’t ever, in our experience, intend to count invalid votes, or let somebody who’s not eligible vote, or prevent somebody who’s eligible from voting,” a county election administrator in Texas told The New York Times. “Yet we’re seeing that as a baseline, kind of a fundamental principle in some of the bills that are being drafted. And I don’t know where it’s coming from, because it’s not based on reality.”
I know where it’s coming from! A toxic combination of longtime Republican efforts to gain partisan advantage by making voting more difficult and Donald Trump’s insistence that he could not possibly have lost the 2020 election without widespread cheating.
The same CBS News poll in which 47% of Republicans said they thought their party should win by changing state voting rules found that just 37% said it was very important for Republican candidates and officials to support claims of 2020 election fraud—but 80% said it had been the right move for House Republicans to remove Rep. Liz Cheney from their leadership, when her great sin was refusing to do that. She was not on message with the party, said 69% of those who agreed with her removal. She was wrong about the 2020 election, said 57%. She didn’t support Trump, said 52%. And a very honest 34% said “disloyalty will be punished.”
Two out of three Republicans told the pollster that loyalty to Trump was important, with even bigger majorities saying the party should follow his example on economic issues, immigration issues, leadership, and how to treat the media. In other words, the 73% who claimed they wanted their party to propose important legislation were either lying or don’t know the first thing about Trump’s record, because he has never been an important legislation kind of guy.
This is a case where polls are interesting, but we have to be willing to look at what people and parties say as well as what they do. Saying that you want your party to propose important legislation and win votes by getting more votes with policy and ideas are things that everyone knows you’re supposed to say—yet the latter position can barely eke out a majority of Republicans, as their state-level lawmakers make clear through their actions that the strategy for winning is all about making it more difficult to vote in ways that will disproportionately affect Black people and Latino people and Asian people and young people and low-income people.
And the numbers showing the importance Republicans place on personal loyalty to Trump? Those show what their party has become: a cult of personality centered on a wannabe authoritarian dictator. When what people say and what they do diverges, believe what they do.
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.