Still, most of the Republican Party’s rank-and-file voters have shown little sign of deserting Trump and his political movement. And over the past week, top G.O.P. lawmakers have started reconciling themselves to that fact.
Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, voted on Tuesday with all but five members of his party in the Senate to dismiss Trump’s impeachment trial, even after privately indicating to colleagues that he thought the former president deserved to be impeached.
This dynamic — of Democrats joined by most independents, but Republicans staunchly on the other side — plays out in some key results from a Pew Research Center poll released last week. Pew asked Americans to weigh in on their top priorities for the new administration. On some issues, the partisan differences weren’t especially strong. But on the most talked-about matters facing the country, Republicans and Democrats split decisively.
Although a majority in both parties saw it as important for the federal government to confront the coronavirus pandemic, Democrats and independents who leaned toward the Democratic Party were 33 percentage points more likely to say so than Republicans and G.O.P.-leaning independents. On climate change, a top priority for the Biden administration, the split was even greater: Three in five Democrats thought it was a pressing concern, but just 14 percent of Republicans did.
There was a similar gulf on racial justice. While 72 percent of Democrats said that addressing issues around race should be a top policy concern, only 24 percent of Republicans said so. While there have always been differences between Republicans and Democrats on the importance of addressing racial disparities — and on the federal government’s role in doing so — the gap may now be larger than ever.
That is partly because Democrats and Democratic-leaning independent voters, particularly white people, have evolved a great deal on these issues in the past few years. Meanwhile, Republicans, egged on by Trump’s politics of hostility, have only become more skeptical of arguments for racial justice.
Of the top policy issues facing the country, only on one — handling the economy and jobs — did wide majorities in both parties say the government should be investing a lot of energy. Eighty-five percent of Republicans said handling the economy should be a top priority, as did 75 percent of Democrats.