In the weeks following the Capitol insurrection, nearly 6,000 North Carolina Republican voters have fled their party after House and Senate Republicans enabled Trump’s lies and conspiracy theories that led to the deadly attacks on January 6th and continue to fail to hold Trump accountable by opposing his impeachment.
In Chatham County, one resident who recently changed her party affiliation detailed her decision to leave the party: “To Rhinehardt, Trump crossed the Rubicon and he took the Republican Party with him. After a lifetime fighting for Republican interests, she could no longer bear to represent the party. A few days later she would formalize her decision and refile with the Board of Elections as an unaffiliated voter.” Reckoning with Republicans’ decision to do nothing to stop Trump, she said: “I just could never have thought that to get what it wanted the Republican Party would have to compromise its soul…which is exactly what has happened.” For the News & Observer, Reinhardt said: “I didn’t leave the party. The party left me.”
And there are thousands of others like her participating in the flight from the party in crisis. Across the state, “the shift was immediately noticeable” and unusually large. ABC News reports that “[f]ollowing the 2016 election, the number of Republicans in North Carolina who changed their affiliations in the same time frame was just under 450.”
It’s clear — the GOP has succumbed to the far-right, forcing voters that don’t feel a part of the Republican Party any more to recoil.
- Chatham News & Record: When your political party lets you down