Marooned at Mar-a-Lago, Trump Still Has Iron Grip on Republicans


Ms. Stefanik and lots of different Republican leaders are betting that the trail to conserving the electoral positive aspects of the Trump period lies in stoking their base with the populist politics which might be central to the president’s model, even when they repel swing voters.

After months of being fed lies in regards to the election by the conservative information media, a lot of the social gathering has come to embrace them as true. Sarah Longwell, a Republican strategist who has been conducting focus teams of Trump voters for years, stated that for the reason that election she had discovered an elevated openness to what she calls “QAnon curious,” a willingness to entertain conspiracy theories about stolen elections and a deep state. “A lot of these base voters are living in a post-truth nihilism where you believe in nothing and think that everything might be untrue,” stated Ms. Longwell, who opposed Mr. Trump. Contrasting the priorities of Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump, she added: It’s an open question which strategy wins: Trying to do things that materially improve people’s lives or trying to attack things that make them feel aggrieved.”

Some Republican strategists fear that the social gathering is lacking alternatives to assault Mr. Biden, who has proposed essentially the most sweeping spending and tax plans in generations.

Instead of presenting counterarguments to Mr. Biden and his $6 trillion financial agenda, Republicans are reorienting themselves to prosecute the perceived excesses of the left.

“Republicans need to go back to kitchen-table issues that voters really care about, sprinkle in a little culture here and there but not get carried away,” stated Scott Reed, a veteran Republican strategist who helped crush right-wing populists in previous elections. “And some of them are making an industry out of getting carried away.”

While clinging to Mr. Trump might assist the social gathering enhance turnout amongst its base, Republicans like Ms. Comstock argue that such a technique will injury the social gathering with essential demographics, together with youthful voters, voters of shade, girls and suburbanites. Already, intraparty fights are rising in nascent primaries as candidates accuse one another of disloyalty to the previous president. Many social gathering leaders concern that might lead to hard-right candidates’ rising victorious and finally shedding normal elections in conservative states the place Republicans ought to prevail, like Missouri and Ohio.

“To declare Trump the winner of a shrinking minority, that’s not a territory you want to head up,” Ms. Comstock stated. “The future of the party is not going to be some 70-year-old man talking in the mirror at Mar-a-Lago and having all these sycophants come down and do the limbo to get his approval.”



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