Republican support for Trump to play role in party up 18 points from early January

The percentage of Republicans who wish to see former President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Milley warns of 'Sputnik moment' for China WSJ publishes letter from Trump continuing to allege voter fraud in PA Oath Keeper who was at Capitol on Jan. 6 runs for New Jersey State Assembly MORE play a role in the future of the party has jumped by double digits since early January, according to a new poll. 

A total of 59 percent of Republican voters indicated they want Trump to play a major role in their party going forward, a Politico/Morning Consult Poll released on Monday found. That figure represents an 18-point increase from Jan. 7. 

The same poll found 81 percent of Republicans now said they have a positive view of the former president, up from 77 percent early last month

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A majority of Republicans in the new survey  53 percent  also said they would vote for Trump if the 2024 primary presidential primary were held today. Former Vice President Mike Pence had the support of 12 percent of Republicans while Donald Trump Jr. and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki HaleyNikki HaleyObama looks to give new momentum to McAuliffe US rejoins UN Human Rights Council, reversing Trump exit Smarkets betting site makes Trump favorite in 2024 MORE were each backed by 6 percent. All other Republicans named in the survey garnered support in the low single digits. 

The new survey was taken in the days following Trump's acquittal in his Senate trial on one article of impeachment for inciting insurrection against the government stemming from rioting by his supporters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. 

Seven Republican voted to convict Trump in his Senate trial, making it the most bipartisan impeachment vote in American history. 

After voting to acquit Trump, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell backs Herschel Walker in Georgia Senate race The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats insist budget consensus close as talks drag on Manchin backs raising debt ceiling with reconciliation if GOP balks MORE (R-Ky.) scolded Trump for inciting the mob, saying he was "morally" responsible for the violent outburst and charging him with a dangerous "dereliction of duty." 

In an op-ed written in The Wall Street Journal on Monday, McConnell said the outcome of Trump's second impeachment "vindicated the Constitution, not Trump."

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"His behavior during and after the chaos was also unconscionable, from attacking Vice President Mike Pence during the riot to praising the criminals after it ended," McConnell wrote. "I respect senators who reached the opposite answer. What deserve no respect are claims that constitutional concerns are trivialities that courageous senators would have ignored." 

Republican senators who voted to acquit Trump argued the trial was unconstitutional because it took place after Trump had left office. If convicted, Trump would have been barred from holding public office again. 

After he was acquitted, the former president celebrated the decision as a victory and suggested his "Make American Great Again" movement has “has only just begun." 

"In the months ahead, I have much to share with you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all of our people,” Trump said in a statement. 

The poll of 1,984 registered voters was conducted Feb. 14-15 and has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.