The Incredible Upside of a New Trump Party

Tyler Hack, Blogger

Washington, D.C – “We’ll be back in some form,” former President Trump said as he delivered his farewell address before flying to Palm Beach, Florida. This came just a day after a Wall Street Journal report that “Trump has talked in recent days with associates about forming a new political party, according to people familiar with the matter, an effort to exert continued influence after he leaves the White House.” According to the report, he suggested calling it the Patriot Party, the same month that his daughter Ivanka referred to the domestic terrorists at the Capitol American patriots.

Across the country, panic ensued at the thought of a resurrection of Trump and aligning politicians. As a Democrat, I couldn’t have been more thrilled.

Yes, Trump’s national approval has plummeted since the insurrection at the Capitol, but he still remains well-liked among members of the Republican party. Even after January 6, 87% of Republicans approve of Trump’s job, down just 2% from late October. And if you thought there was no more dangerous a thought: 74% of Republicans don’t believe that President Biden legitimately won the election.

Even as a large portion of GOP voters side with Trump, the Republican establishment is turning against him to prevent losses in independent and moderate voters. Leader McConnell said that the former President provoked Capitol rioters. Former Vice-President Pence attended the Biden inauguration instead of Trump’s farewell event. Trump is threatening their standing by promising to primary prominent Republicans—like Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, since his GOP Secretary of State refused to “find” additional Trump votes.

But Trump has alluded to plans of another route entirely: instead of primary challenges in the party, the creation of an entirely new one. A Hill/HarrisX poll shows that 64% of Republican voters would join Trump’s new party. If this was 90% or 10%, the right (whether it be Trump or the GOP establishment) would still have a chance at winning major races and holding majorities in the houses of Congress. But besides the few states that use ranked-choice voting, where voters list the candidates in order of preference (learn more here), the Patriot Party will eliminate Republican chances of victory in most races.

For example, in Kansas, Trump won 56.2% of the vote and Biden picked up 41.6%, meaning that this state was by no nature competitive. However, if another top Republican was in the race, these would be the results if they took half of Trump’s vote:

41.6% Joe Biden (Dem.)

28.1% Donald Trump

28.1% Generic Republican

2.2% Other (Jo Jorgesen, Kanye West, etc)

The U.S. uses a plurality system for its presidential elections. “The plurality system is the simplest means of determining the outcome of an election. To win, a candidate need only poll more votes than any other single opponent; he need not, as required by the majority formula, poll more votes than the combined opposition.” That means a candidate doesn’t need over 50% to win a state’s electoral votes, except in Maine and Alaska (as of 2022) which use ranked-choice voting.

In fact, Biden had less than 50% in Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia. This means, in the scenario above, Biden would easily take Kansas—a state that hasn’t voted for a Democrat in over 50 years (since 1964). Not even when Bill Clinton won an astonishing 379 electoral votes in 1996.

Just four years earlier, Clinton ran for his first term in office, an independent named Ross Perot ran against him and incumbent George H. W. Bush. Perot was accused of being a spoiler candidate, as he seized many 1988 Bush voters. Clinton beat Bush with 370 electoral votes to his 168. Perot got none, but accumulated 18.9% of the popular vote, and more in some battleground states.

A poll from RMG Research for “Just the News” shown below illustrates the undeniable harm that Trump’s party will cause the GOP.

A poll from RMG Research for “Just the News” shown below illustrates the undeniable harm that Trump’s party will cause the GOP.

The Republican and Patriot parties split the GOP vote, which means that the electoral college could over 400 votes for Dems. We could see Democrats emerge victorious in statewide elections in states like Alaska, Kansas, Montana, and South Carolina. Current swing states, like Arizona and North Carolina, would be in likely blue hands, and Democrats could maintain a trifecta for decades.

While it would mean that we’d have Trump around for a few more years, the GOP would fall and the Democratic party would thrive.