Former Republican officials in talks to form center-right anti-Trump party: report
BY LEXI LONAS – 02/10/21 10:34 PM EST
More than 120 people were on a call on the matter on Friday, including former government employees who worked under the Trump administration, the Reagan administration and both Bush White House’s as well as former GOP members of Congress.
Evan McMullin, former chief policy director for the House Republican Conference, told Reuters that he co-hosted the call with former officials who fear a large faction of the party is unwilling to stand up to Trump.
“Large portions of the Republican Party are radicalizing and threatening American democracy,” McMullin told Reuters. “The party needs to recommit to truth, reason and founding ideals or there clearly needs to be something new.”
The discussion included talk of both running candidates and supporting center-right candidates that are Republican, Democrat or independent.
Reuters reported that officials were dismayed that a significant contingent of Republicans still voted to overturn the election results hours after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. Most Republican senators have said they will not support convicting Trump on a charge of inciting an insurrection after his second impeachment trial, which is currently underway.
Jason Miller, who now serves as a Trump spokesman told Reuters in a response to the call: “These losers left the Republican Party when they voted for Joe Biden.”
Nearly 140,000 voters left GOP in 25 states in January
BY TAL AXELROD – 02/10/21 11:12 AM EST
Nearly 140,000 voters left the Republican Party in 25 states in January, according to an analysis of public voting records obtained by The Hill.
Some of the steepest drops in Republican Party affiliation were seen in California, where more than 33,000 registered voters left the GOP; Pennsylvania, where more than 12,000 voters defected; and Arizona, where more than 10,000 Republicans changed their voter registration.
And while California has morphed into a reliably blue state, Pennsylvania and Arizona are key battlegrounds where Republicans need support.
About 79,000 Democrats also left their party in January, according to public records.
The New York Times was the first to report on the figures. The numbers do not give a full picture of changes across the country given that not every state has voter registration by party or releases their statistics.
Shifts in voter registration are common after presidential elections, but the swing away from the Republican Party is particularly stark.
“Since this is such a highly unusual activity, it probably is indicative of a larger undercurrent that’s happening, where there are other people who are likewise thinking that they no longer feel like they’re part of the Republican Party, but they just haven’t contacted election officials to tell them that they might change their party registration,” Michael P. McDonald, a professor of political science at the University of Florida, told the Times. “So this is probably a tip of an iceberg.”
The defections build off of figures reported earlier in January by The Hill, which also showed significantly more Republicans leaving their party than Democrats.
Last month’s figures underscored the accelerating shift in the suburbs, which had leaned conservative but experienced a shift to the left during the Trump administration.
High-profile defectors said they could not remain in a party that had stuck so closely to Trump, who used controversial language and strayed from Republican orthodoxy on subjects like free trade.
“I changed my registration to ‘no party affiliation’ after 40 years. I worked for Reagan & Bush 41 & 43. But today’s Rep Party no longer embraces the policies & principles that led me to join it,” tweeted veteran diplomat Richard Haass. “To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, I didn’t leave the Republican Party; the Party left me.”