On January 6—after a months-long smear campaign against the integrity of American elections by former President Donald Trump—Congress held a joint session to nationally certify then-President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election.
At the same time, Trump addressed his supporters nearby at a "Save America" rally, where he continued to peddle the lie that widespread election fraud coordinated by Democrats delivered a false victory to Biden and "stole" the White House from the Republican party.
After decrying weakness and urging his supporters to "fight" for him, Trump instructed them to march to the Capitol and "peacefully and patriotically" make their views known.
As history will remember, the mob of pro-Trump extremists stormed the Capitol, smashing windows, ransacking offices and smearing excrement across the walls. The failed insurrection resulted in the deaths of at least five people and endangered the lives of every lawmaker in the Capitol that day, including Trump's own Vice President.
A week later, the Democratic-majority House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump for a historic second time, with 10 House Republicans voting in favor, making it the most bipartisan impeachment in American history.
With Trump's impeachment trial imminent in the Senate, an overwhelming number of Republican Senators have come out against the accountability measure, urging Americans to move on.
According to voter registration data from a limited number of states, that's exactly what people are doing—except they're moving on from the GOP itself.
NEW: Tens of thousands of voters drop Republican affiliation after Capitol riot https://t.co/gzOiDMPTcb https://t.co/jBapsrQohz— The Hill (@The Hill) 1611771184.0
In the first 25 days of the year, over 30 thousand Republicans have left the party across a number of states, including over 20 thousand voters in the swing states of Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Arizona alone. What's more, not every state in the Union reports voter registration data, so there are untold numbers of potential Republican deserters left.
In reporting on the development, The Hill's Reid Wilson writes:
"Voters switching parties is not unheard of, but the data show that in the first weeks of the year, far more Republicans have changed their voter registrations than Democrats. Many voters are changing their affiliation in key swing states that were at the heart of the battle for the White House and control of Congress."
The data represents a potential shift in GOP dynamics after the party's years-long embrace of Trump's doctrine.
@thehill This could mean two things. The far right are brewing something up to split off, or the moderates don't wa… https://t.co/DaR1z0qbSF— Glamboh (@Glamboh) 1611772266.0
@thehill @BrianDMcBride Seems like continuing to go down the path of Trumpism is a bad idea for @GOP.— Tim Schroeppel (@Tim Schroeppel) 1611772582.0
@thehill Does it mean what you think it means or is it the emergence of a third party? Either way, a potentially si… https://t.co/5kWGFsoV0J— Bryan Kaus (@Bryan Kaus) 1611771853.0
@thehill I hope this is fuel for the republican party to assess where they are at, reject Trumpism and embrace soli… https://t.co/nOmqi5vhgM— The Sapiens Society (@The Sapiens Society) 1611775062.0
@thehill Damn @SenateGOP @HouseGOP are seriously going through some things! This party needs to right their ship so… https://t.co/HevwfN0BK6— CowboysFan4Life (@CowboysFan4Life) 1611771564.0
The news was welcome among Trump's critics, with many hoping for even greater numbers.
@thehill Good. And I hope they keep dropping. Their party is now a party of hate, white supremacy, lies, violence… https://t.co/aN5P6lKAs3— peej (@peej) 1611771432.0
@thehill @team_biden That's a start. And after more is revealed during the Trump Senate trial there'll be tens of thousands more.— Joyce Tyler (@Joyce Tyler) 1611778199.0
It should be tens of millions but its a start. https://t.co/s1qu4UdmV4— C. Thompson Pheznt Huntr in ND (@C. Thompson Pheznt Huntr in ND) 1611776195.0
My question would be, why weren't there millions that dropped the affiliaton? https://t.co/51PoMfEY3i— y knot (@y knot) 1611773620.0
It's worth noting that an uncertain number of far-right Trump extremists became disillusioned with the Republican party for what they believe was its failure to stand up for Trump. It's unclear how many of those constitute the mass exodus from the GOP seen early this year.