Polling data from election day reveals that Trump caused Independents to vote for Democrats, and he was a primary reason for voters not to vote for Republican candidates.
Trump loomed large in the minds of voters and dragged down his party’s candidates — nationally and in key swing states with Senate races — despite being out of power. In many cases that blunted the impact of Biden’s unpopularity, and widespread economic pain, helping Democrats defy political gravity and hold their own.
Nationally, 32% of voters in 2022 said their vote was “to oppose Joe Biden.” But 28% said their vote was “to oppose Donald Trump,” even though Trump was out of office. That suggests Trump’s continued dominance over the GOP made the 2022 election, in voters’ minds, almost as much about a defeated former president as it was about the current president and party in power.
Trump has become so synonymous with the Republican Party that voters, especially Independents, will reject candidates that are closely associated with them. All of those election deniers who were bragging that they were MAGA lost.
The failed former president is only helpful to Republicans in red states. When Trump ventures into a swing state, Republicans get wiped out.
Republicans are screwed because even if party leadership recognizes that Trump costs them elections, there might be very little they can do about it.
As long as Donald Trump maintains his iron grip on the majority of the base of the Republican Party, he will be the 2024 nominee. Ron DeSantis doesn’t have the charisma or star power to beat Trump. DeSantis isn’t as skilled of a campaigner as Ted Cruz, and he will likely be roadkill in a Republican primary against Trump.
The GOP sold itself out to Trump, and now they are helpless passengers as he drives the party off the cliff.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association