More than 80% of Republicans want former President Donald Trump to have at least some influence over the party, a new Associated Press poll showed.
In the survey, 47% of GOP respondents say Trump should have "a lot" of influence within the party; 34% say he should have "a little" sway over the GOP and its future.
Breaking the party into conservatives and moderate/liberal, the survey found that 58% of conservatives say Trump should have "a lot" of influence, while 27% say it should be "a little" influence — compared with 31% of moderate/liberal Republicans who think Trump should wield "a lot" of influence and 44% believe is should be just "a little."
"I think he did a lot of good for the party," GOP voter George Hunter, 61, who lives in Washington state outside Seattle and runs an online store, told the AP about Trump. "After the next election, I think things will be better. I think the Democrats will lose their majorities. That way [Democrat President Joe] Biden will get less done than he wants," he said.
The poll also found many Republicans are concerned about the direction of their party. Fewer than half of Republicans, 41%, say they are optimistic about the GOP’s future; 13% say they are "very" optimistic, and 33%, say they are pessimistic.
The poll also reflects a gloomy view of democracy among Republicans.
Only 10% of Republicans say democracy is working "extremely" or "very" well in the country today, compared with 63% who say democracy is not working well. Just 17% say they think the nation is headed in the right direction, the poll showed.
The poll found 66% of Republicans continue to say Biden was illegitimately elected in 2020, all evidence to the contrary.
And it found 62% of Republicans say it’s "extremely" or "very" important that investigations into the 2020 election continue, while 16% think it’s "moderately" important. In contrast, 62% of Republicans say it’s "moderately" important to continue to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, with 38% saying it’s "extremely" or "very" important.
The AP-NORC poll surveyed 1,308 U.S. adults by cellphone and landline from July 15 to 19 and has a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points.
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