On February 13th, capitol hill decided to allow Trump home safely after his controversial presidency and the raid on the halls of congress. The Senate ultimately voted during the second senate trial of Donald J. Trump in a 57-43 split, which is not enough for a conviction. Seven republicans splitting from the party was too short for the result the democrats wanted, but it was solid proof of the fracture facing the republican party. The two sides of the republican party are still at war with each other for the near future.
The vote to convict Donald Trump was ultimately a test of how much influence from the former president remained in the GOP. Trump’s ideas still resonate with the GOP’s voting base and leadership as only a few senators were willing to split from the party. Among the few Republican senators who voted to convict Trump, some notable names include Richard Burr of North Carolina and Mitt Romney of Utah. Trump’s escape from a senate conviction shows that his grasp of the republican identity will not be shaken off easily. It will take multiple election cycles or even multiple presidential elections to shake off the former president’s specter from the GOP.
The next few election cycles will face the consequences of Trump’s non-conviction in a big way. Future republican politicians will still have to choose whether to be loyal to the Trump ideals or take their own path to office. Choosing to stay with the Trump era big talk rhetoric can work in many rural areas even after the Biden victory. Finding your own style of republicanism to get into office could work, but you will get roasted in Washington by some of your colleagues. Another effect many new republicans might face is debating whether to sponsor controversial ideas such as Q-Anon as part of their political campaigns.
Trump’s possible 2024 presidential run because of the non-conviction could have huge effects on the republican party. A surge in new Trump loyal congressmen could solidify Trump’s influence on congress even without winning the Whitehouse. A Trump loss in 2024 could also create a wave of non-Trump republicans that take back majority control of the GOP. Another possible situation during the 2024 election is that the House gets taken by non-Trump Republicans, but the Senate stays in the Trump camp. A split republican party divided by the halls of congress would create a political enigma.
Another possible scenario is that loyalty to Trump could negatively affect the GOP’s chances of elections in the future. Middle-class people could trend toward democrats in critical states such as Texas, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. In this case, the Trump loyal republicans would be replaced by new progressive democrats. A rise in new democrats in congress might ensure that Biden and friends can prevent a republican presidential comeback from doing maximum harm to the DNC’s agenda.
Regardless of how the political landscape changes in the coming months, Trump is undoubtedly here to stay.
Sources: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/14/gop-senators-who-voted-to-impeach-trump-facing-heat-at-home.html, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/02/13/statement-by-president-joe-biden-on-the-senate-vote-in-the-trial-of-donald-trump/