Former Trump campaign pollster John McLaughlin said that the effort to cancel former President Donald Trump is backfiring and will likely embolden the former president's voter bases.
The effort to convict Trump in an impeachment trial suffered a grave setback after 45 Republican senators voted against holding the trial, meaning that it's unlikely there will be enough votes to convict the former president. Convicting a president requires at least 67 votes, meaning 17 Republicans would have to join Democrats.
A number of Republican senators said it's unconstitutional and pointless to convict a former president.
"It's having no impact on his base, in fact, it's just solidifying them and making them angrier or more upset," McLaughlin said of the impeachment efforts. "Because the people outside the Beltway agree" that it is essentially unconstitutional, he said.
McLaughlin told the broadcaster that some polls show as many as 75 percent of battleground voters view the forthcoming trial as a "waste of time" and "money."
Ten Republican representatives joined House Democrats earlier this month in impeaching Trump for one article of impeachment that alleged he incited an insurrection at the Capitol building on Jan. 6. Trump, for his part, has argued that his speech to supporters on Jan. 6 was not incitement and noted that he didn't encourage any violence. Later, the former president told protesters to go home and later condemned the violence.
One of the House Republican leaders, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, was among the 10 GOP Congress members to join the Democrats. Despite her leadership role and name-recognition, Cheney is sure to face a tough primary battle---coming after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) publicly admonished her at a rally in Wyoming this week.
Gaetz, while speaking in Cheyenne, told Trump supporters: “We are in a battle for the soul of the Republican party, and I intend to win it."
“Washington, DC, mythologizes the establishment powerbrokers like Liz Cheney for climbing in a deeply corrupt game, but there are more of us than there are of them,” he added.
As for Trump himself, it's not clear what the former president's next move will be. He met with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, and the two described their conversation as both warm and cordial. The two said that retaking the House for Republicans in 2022 is of paramount importance.