The GOP's Future

April 30, 2021 • Volume 31, Issue 16
Will it continue to be Trump's party?
By Tom Price


With the loss of the House in 2018, and the Senate and White House in 2020, the Republican Party is at a crossroads. Many party members are convinced the path forward rests with Donald Trump. The former president remains wildly popular with the GOP base. But Trump's Republican critics warn that his tumultuous presidency and bombastic style are toxic with the general public and that his continued leadership will make it difficult for the GOP to win general elections. This split, according to analysts, highlights a dilemma: If the leadership repudiates Trump, it risks losing Trump's voters; if it backs Trump, the party could struggle to regain the White House and Congress. Some Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, say the party needs to embrace Trumpian policies but find candidates who do not carry Trump's baggage. Many conservatives disagree and argue the party should return to traditional Republican values of free trade, balanced budgets and a robust foreign policy.

Supporters of Donald Trump march in front of Trump Tower in New York City on March 5, 2021. (Getty Images/Anadolu Agency/Tayfun Coskun)
Supporters of Donald Trump gather at Trump Tower in New York City on March 5 in a show of loyalty to the former president. Many Republicans see Trump as the future of the Republican Party, but others worry that he cannot win a general election. (Getty Images/Anadolu Agency/Tayfun Coskun)
ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Political Parties
Mar. 25, 2022  The Democrats' Future
Apr. 30, 2021  The GOP's Future
Oct. 13, 2017  Future of the Democratic Party
Sep. 09, 2016  Populism and Party Politics
Nov. 14, 2014  Nonprofit Groups and Partisan Politics
Oct. 24, 2014  Future of the GOP
Feb. 28, 2014  Polarization in America
Mar. 19, 2010  Tea Party Movement Updated
Mar. 20, 2009  Future of the GOP
Jun. 08, 2007  Democrats in Congress
Apr. 30, 2004  The Partisan Divide
Dec. 22, 1995  Third-Party Prospects
Jan. 11, 1985  Post-1984 Political Landscape
Nov. 09, 1984  Democratic Revival in South America
Sep. 14, 1984  Election 1984
Dec. 19, 1980  Future of the Democratic Party
Sep. 29, 1978  New Right in American Politics
Jan. 04, 1974  Future of Conservatism
May 03, 1972  The New Populism
Feb. 02, 1956  Foreign Policy in Political Campaigns
Dec. 22, 1954  Divided Government
Aug. 04, 1952  Two-Party System
Jun. 06, 1952  Party Platforms
Sep. 05, 1951  Southern Democrats and the 1952 Election
Oct. 06, 1948  Voting in 1948
Aug. 27, 1948  Republicans and Foreign Policy
Jul. 16, 1947  Third Party Movements
Aug. 22, 1940  Political Realignments
Jan. 13, 1938  The G. O. P. and the Solid South
Jul. 22, 1936  Third Party Movements in American Politics
Jul. 07, 1936  The Monopoly Issue in Party Politics
Nov. 12, 1935  Party Platforms and the 1936 Campaign
May 18, 1934  Political Trends and New Party Movements
Jan. 13, 1932  National Party Platforms, 1832–1932
May 16, 1928  Third Party Movements
Jan. 21, 1928  Major Party Platforms 1924–1928
Nov. 14, 1924  The Election and the Third Party
Sep. 05, 1924  Party Claims and Past Political Complexion of the States
Jun. 25, 1924  Third Party Platforms
Jun. 18, 1924  Thrid Parties: Past and Prospective
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