The latest national CNN poll found that most Republican voters still want Donald Trump to lead their party, which is notable in its own right. But just as important is how this belief shapes what it means to be a Republican in 2021:
Most Republicans also consider support for Trump – and his false claim to have won the 2020 election – to be an important part of their own partisan identity alongside support for conservative principles.
According to the poll’s internal data, a combined 61 percent of the party’s voters believe supporting the former president is either very or somewhat important in defining what it means to be a Republican. A combined 59 percent said the same thing about believing that Trump won the 2020 election, which he lost in reality.
An even higher percentage of Republican voters – 63 percent – said Trump should remain the GOP’s principal leader.
At face value, there’s something rather extraordinary about so many voters from a…