Poll: Republicans want Trump to have a say in party's future

The vast majority of Republicans want former President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel faces double-edged sword with Alex Jones, Roger Stone Trump goes after Woodward, Costa over China Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE to continue to wield at least some influence over the GOP, according to a new Associated Press-NORC poll released on Tuesday. 

Forty-seven percent of Republican respondents say that the former president should yield “a lot” of influence within the party, while roughly one-third  34 percent  believe that he should have “a little” sway over the GOP and its future.

The poll found that many Republicans are concerned about the direction of their party. A third of Republicans surveyed, 33 percent, are pessimistic about the GOP’s future, while 41 percent say they are optimistic. Only 13 percent say they are “very” optimistic about the future of the Republican Party. 

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More than six months after an election in which Republicans lost control of both the White House and the Senate, the party is gunning to recapture majorities in both chambers of Congress. 

The GOP needs to gain only half a dozen or so seats in the House next year to retake control of the lower chamber and just one in the Senate  a goal that appears well within reach, especially given the tendency of the party of a new president to lose seats in the midterm elections.

The poll also captures a gloomy view of democracy among Republicans, with 63 percent saying that it is not working well in the U.S. Just 10 percent say that democracy is working “extremely” or “very” well. 

Part of that may be due to the fact that most Republicans  66 percent  remain convinced that President BidenJoe BidenSouth Africa health minister calls travel bans over new COVID variant 'unjustified' Biden attends tree lighting ceremony after day out in Nantucket Senior US diplomat visiting Southeast Asia to 'reaffirm' relations MORE was not legitimately elected in 2020, all evidence to the contrary.

Trump has repeatedly promoted the false claim that the election was stolen from him more than eight months since the November presidential election. Trump lost a series of court actions challenging his loss, and state officials in both parties have repeatedly said the election was carried our fairly and accurately in their states.

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U.S. adults overall believe the Biden was fairly elected.

The poll found that 66 percent said Biden’s election was legitimate, and only 33 percent saying that it was not.

Sixty-two percent of Republicans say that it’s either “extremely” or “very important” to continue to investigate Trump’s claim that widespread voter fraud marred the results of the 2020 election, while another 16 percent believe that such investigations are “moderately” important.

The overwhelming majority of Democrats, meanwhile, place a bigger emphasis on investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump’s supporters. Ninety-one percent of Democrats say it’s at least moderately important to examine what happened during the Capitol breach, compared to 62 percent of Republicans.

The AP-NORC poll surveyed 1,308 U.S. adults by cellphone and landline from July 15 to 19. It has a margin of sampling error of 3.7 percentage points.