GOP’s Biggest 2022 Problem: Incumbents Deemed Insufficiently MAGA Extreme

It occupies every moment of Mitch McConnell’s 2022 midterm mind.

Someone at the RNC, perhaps not Ronna McDaniel, as she seems to have gone all the way to true believer, but many at the RNC fear that the upcoming primary contests will be a bloodbath for incumbents who may come from either the pre-Trump era, or the pre-Big Lie era, and are like a Doug Ducey of Arizona. As sitting governor and candidate for the senate seat, he would be the best statewide candidate for the party. But he gave the state to Biden, or at least that’s how many MAGAs view the dynamic and is thus a non-starter with a frightening number of MAGAs in Arizona.

The Republicans will limit themselves to the most MAGA of the MAGAs and lose governorships, senate seats, even some House districts they might have otherwise won if the primaries come out as party leaders fear.

Is anyone interested in knowing the score? 8-0, and that’s just governorships. The Daily Beast explains more:

Months away from their primary contests in this 2022 midterm election, a number of Republican governors nationwide are under siege.

Of the 15 GOP chief executives who are running for re-election, eight are facing at least one primary challenger running a real campaign. That number stands in stark contrast to the number of credible primary threats faced by the eight Democratic governors running for re-election: zero. It’s an unprecedented phenomenon for the party, Republican operatives say.”

This is certainly not a new phenomenon for the GOP, whose voters have demanded increasingly extreme candidates for nearly two decades and they have paid the price. One of the newer problems this time is that there are several easy measuring sticks.

The article comes full of examples, including a compelling and tragic one from Idaho in which Gov. Little had to manage a healthcare system that was forced to limit itself to triage care only and embraced some common-sense measures, now challenged by Lt. Gov. McGeachin, who opposed each of those measures and is sufficiently anti-mask, ant-vax, the type of programs that put the state in the position in the first place. Inexplicably, Trump has granted McGeachin his “total and complete” endorsement even though Gov. Little has perfect MAGA credentials.

As summed up by longtime Republican strategist Doug Heye:

“We’ve come to a point where there’s been such a celebrification of politics that we see more people running because it’s a way to become famous, establish a brand, make money, whatever it may be,” said Heye, a former official at the Republican National Committee. He acknowledged this trend is much more prevalent in the GOP, because of the ways that conservative personalities can leverage right-wing media to accomplish their own goals.

Much more prevalent? How about near non-existent on the left. “Dr. Oz” is not running in the Democratic primary. The voting marks are on the Right and Mitch McConnell knows it. McConnell knows that his dream – the majority – may once again come down to a situation like Georgia, where two unpopular and unlikeable Republican nominees lost a state to the party that ran the opposite, two caring, normal, politicians who seemed to be interested in politics for exactly the right reasons.

It may keep Ronna McDaniel up at night, as the MAGAs expect a 2022 wipeout and will be looking for someone to blame. It keeps McConnell up at night and propelled throughout the day because he will know exactly who to blame, the man he’s opened a rift with just recently as their feud has become increasingly open. Donald Trump.