There are many critical questions regarding next year’s midterm elections. One big one is how will President Trump be seen among fellow Republicans? Just how much clout will he still have? Does “absence make the heart grow fonder,” or is it “out of sight, out of mind?”

Unquestionably Trump remains popular among Republicans, but there are some signs that the intensity of his popularity, enthusiasm about him as a person has subtly declined.

My column last week looked at data from the NBC News national poll, conducted last month by Hart Research and Public Opinion Strategies.

The data showed that the share of Republicans who identify themselves as more loyal to Trump than to the party had declined from 54 percent in their October poll for both NBC and the Wall Street Journal, to 44 percent now, while those professing more loyalty to the party than to him increased from 38 percent in the previous poll to 50 percent last month.

Importantly, among those Republicans who continue to express more loyalty to him

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Virginia House
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