Politics

Registration Numbers for the Republican Party Are Down Following Capitol Attack

The Republican Party appears to be fracturing following the attempted insurrection on Capitol Hill last week. With President Trump spouting election lies and stirring up a mob registration numbers are down across the country as Republicans are jumping ship.

From the Associated Press:

In the 36 hours after last week’s deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, 112 Republicans reached out to the election office in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to change their party registration. Ethan Demme was one of them.

“Ever since they started denying the election result, I kind of knew it was heading this way,” said Demme, the county’s former Republican Party chairman who has opposed President Donald Trump and is now an independent. “If they kept going, I knew there’s no way I can keep going. But if you’ve been a Republican all your life, it’s hard to jump out of a big boat and into a little boat.”

Officials are seeing similar scenes unfold elsewhere.

In Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, 192 people have changed their party registration since the Jan. 6 riot. Only 13 switched to the GOP — the other 179 changed to Democrat, independent or a third party, according to Bethany Salzarulo, the director of the bureau of elections.

In Linn County, Iowa, home to Cedar Rapids, more than four dozen voters dropped their Republican Party affiliations in the 48 hours after the Capitol attack. They mostly switched to no party, elections commissioner Joel Miller said, though a small number took the highly unusual step of cancelling their registrations altogether.

There have been multiple reports in recent months of Republicans jumping ship. The biggest one was last summer when Justin Amash left the party and joined the Libertarian Party.

The angst that Trump has caused in GOP circles is drawing away new members and forcing many longtime contributors and members to leave. The Lincoln Project, which was founded by anti-Trump Republicans has been instrumental in leading this charge and taking on Trumplicans.

The 2022 midterm elections may provide a test of that. Former Rep. Ryan Costello is strongly considering a run for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat as a Republican. A longtime Trump critic, he sees the time as ripe for an explicitly anti-Trump GOP candidate.

“We need people willing to lose races, lose political campaigns, over this,” Costello said. “We need campaigns about the cleansing of the party. Sometimes it’s not possible to dance around landmines. Sometimes, you’ve just got to jump in there.”

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