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Republicans aren't ready to quit Trump

E.J. Dionne Jr. on

Trump's GOP numbers may well have deteriorated in the months since the survey was completed, and even then, there were warning signs in the answers Republicans gave to a question Pew asked about how Trump "conducts himself as president."

Among Core Conservatives, only 41 percent liked the way Trump conducts himself, 51 percent had mixed feelings and 8 percent disliked his conduct. For Country First Conservatives, the numbers are 51 percent like, 39 percent mixed, and 9 percent dislike. Given how outrageous Trump's behavior is, those "dislike" figures are still very low.

His ratings were worse in the other GOP groups: Only 24 percent of Market Skeptic Republicans liked Trump's behavior while 26 percent disliked it. And in the younger New Era group, Trump was underwater: Only 23 percent liked Trump's behavior; 39 percent disliked it.

Trump's GOP opponents can still hope to demonstrate that the negative impact of how the president operates matters far more than any ideological victories he might deliver to conservatives. Trump daily proves Corker's point that it's foolish to expect he'll ever change.

But it will be an uphill struggle. Republicans like Flake and Corker have reason to worry their party is so profoundly Trumpified that it is lost to them. At some point, they may just have to walk away.

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E.J. Dionne's email address is ejdionne@washpost.com. Twitter: @EJDionne.

(c) 2017, Washington Post Writers Group

 

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