'General-election loser' Donald Trump is 'hurting the GOP’s chances' in the midterms: conservative
Despite being voted out of office in 2020, former President Donald Trump continues to wield considerable influence in Republican primaries — the type of influence that George H.W. Bush, for example, didn’t have in the 1994 midterms and that Herbert Hoover didn’t have in 1934. During the 1934 midterms, Republicans who had witnessed Hoover’s crushing defeat at the hands of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932 weren’t exactly lined up to get an endorsement from the one-term former president.
Trump’s endorsements in GOP primaries have had mixed results. Trump suffered a major humiliation in Georgia’s 2022 gubernatorial primary when incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp, who Trump despises, defeated the primary candidate Trump endorsed, former Sen. David Perdue, by a brutal 52 percent. But in Arizona, on the other hand, far-right gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake and other Trump-backed candidates were victorious in their primaries, as were U.S. Senate nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz and gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell recently acknowledged that Democrats have a good chance of keeping their majority in the U.S. Senate in the 2022 midterms, although he still thinks Republicans are likely to “flip” the U.S. House of Representatives. McConnell didn’t mention Trump by name when he made that prediction, although he did mention “candidate quality.” But Never Trump conservative David Frum, in an article published by The Atlantic on August 29, comes right out and says that Trump is having a negative influence on Republican primaries in the 2022 midterms.
“Republican leaders and donors are suddenly making worried noises about their political chances,” Frum observes. “Five months ago, their party looked likely to take both the U.S. House and the Senate in 2022. Republicans appeared ready to consolidate their leads over Democrats in the numbers of governorships and state legislatures held. Best of all, they seemed to have quietly sidelined former President Donald Trump.”
Frum continues, “Now their prospects look clouded. Gasoline prices have dropped. The Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade and galvanized pro-abortion-rights voters, including some non-religious but otherwise conservative women who might have voted Republican. Their Senate hopes are being dashed because Trump intervened in primaries to nominate a bunch of unattractive candidates in must-win swing states.”
Frum argues that even though the “Republican base loves Trump,” he is a “general-election loser.”
“Trump at the head of the ticket in 2024 spells trouble; even a reminder that Trump is at large in 2022 hurts down ballot,” Frum explains. “That’s why Republican leaders have pleaded with Trump to delay any announcement of a 2024 run until after November’s voting…. The lesson for Republican leaders and donors is that sticking with Trump will be expensive. Trump himself and pro-Trump candidates are hurting the GOP’s election chances.”
Frum continues, “Trump lost the presidency in 2020. Pro-Trump candidates cost the GOP its hold on the U.S. Senate in 2021. More pro-Trump candidates are slumping badly in 2022. More GOP stumbles mean more cash for Democratic constituencies. Trump tried one exit from this predicament in 2021: a violent overthrow of his election defeat. That did not work.”
GOP strategists, Frum notes, continue to be afraid of Trump’s base — a fear that, Frum points out, hurts the GOP’s ability to appeal to a “broad coalition.”
“If they want to see the back of him, they’re going to have to grab him themselves and push him out the door with their own hands,” Frum emphasizes. “If they don’t, their donors had better get used to more big payouts to more Democratic constituencies in the election cycles ahead.”
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