Everyone can see the fact that former President Donald Trump is currently the most powerful person in the Republican Party. While several major outlets claim that his grip is slipping, in truth, this is not the case.
Both the New York Times and Washington Post published pieces, expressing the same point on the exact same day. This may seem like something is afoot.
Both stories make the point that an internal battle is breaking apart the GOP, with two opposing groups led by Trump and Mitch McConnell. The reports said this was clear when the Senate GOP leader slammed the RNC for censuring Trump critics Liz Cheney and Ada Kizinger, and for reprising his previous criticism of the former prescient for inciting an “insurrection” on Jan. 6, 2021. Meanwhile, the former president retaliated, saying McConnell “does not speak for the Republican Party, and does not represent the views of the vast majority of its voters.” Last year he dismissed the senator as a “dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack.”
The subject of both stories shows dueling recruitment efforts happening for the upcoming midterm elections, with Trump trying to get loyalists to be elected while McConnell is looking out for establishment types whom he thinks can win in November.
In its report, the Washington Post says “Trump and his endorsees now find themselves fighting against some elected GOP leaders, donors and party officers intent on navigating the party slowly away from him and his false election claims. Among voters, polls have shown Republican-leaning independents turning from Trump.”
Meanwhile, the New York Times says: “As Mr. Trump works to retain his hold on the Republican Party, elevating a slate of friendly candidates in midterm elections, Mr. McConnell and his allies are quietly, desperately maneuvering to try to thwart him.”
McConnell’s message, which he delivered to Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona in an effort to entice him to run for Senate, goes: “Mr. Trump is losing political altitude and need not be feared in a primary.”
Neither faction is trouncing on the other, however. Trump is supporting less hard-right candidates than what many expected. Meanwhile, McConnell’s efforts are sometimes being spurned, such as by Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland who declined to run for Senate.
However, a larger question looms that will actually test the former president’s influence. Simply speaking, Trump wants this election in large measure about 2020. Meanwhile, McConnell’s forces want to base it on 2022 issues
The usual claim about the rigged election has turned into a litmus test. GOP members who do not embrace these unproven claims are described as disloyal, with the former President calling Lindsey Graham a “RINO” for not supporting his idea of pardoning Jan. 6 defendants.
The daily Trumpian barrage about the “rigged” election has become a litmus test. Republicans who don’t embrace the unproven allegations are branded as disloyal, with Trump even calling his pal Lindsey Graham a “RINO” for breaking with him on the idea of pardoning the Jan. 6 defendants.
Meanwhile, McConnell, along with other Beltway Republicans, intends to run against Joe Biden when it comes to current issues plaguing the nation, such as inflation, schools, mask mandates, and more.
McConnell, and some other Beltway Republicans, want to run against Biden on such issues as inflation, schools, and mask mandates.
The Times then cited a Pew survey taken from September in which 44% of Republican Party members say they would want for Trump to run again, while the other 22% wants another candidate to run. However, these numbers would change if the former president ran and have gotten the nomination.
The day following midterms, the media and political analysts will say that Trump has remade the GOP in his mold or that his clout among its members is waning. However, currently, any such claim is just wishful thinking.