2022 will be a crucial election year in the United States, and Republicans are approaching it with an ambition that until recently seemed unimaginable: winning without Donald Trump.
The opposition party aims to win back the House and Senate from Democrats led by Joe Biden in the November 2022 midterm elections, two years after defeating the billionaire Republican in the presidential election.
This ballot, traditionally complicated for those in power, is an opportunity for Republicans to try a new roadmap, by shedding the grip of Donald Trump, five years after his devastating victory in the White House.
In the current political landscape, the former president has never hovered far away: more than a year after his defeat, US campaigns are still adorned with “Trump” flags, and a wave of red berets continues to stream into his meetings. The former real estate mogul doesn’t miss an opportunity to give Tory’s favorite Fox News a few secrets.
Until recently, the prevailing idea held that all roads to Congress pass through Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s luxurious Florida residence, and that in order to achieve success in Washington one must be called a billionaire, thus flattering tens of millions of its supporters who form its loyal base.
After being deprived of his Twitter account, the former president no longer wields quite the same influence as he once did, but his patronage continues to mobilize an army of activists and generate large donations to the party.
But the ex-president remains divisive and having his support isn’t necessarily a panacea.
“So far, the Trump-backed candidates haven’t done particularly well,” said Sam Nelson, a professor of political science at the University of Toledo in Ohio, one of the states that alternately elect Republicans and Democrats.
He asserts, “Republican primary candidates are scrambling to get his sponsorship, which is very useful in Republican races, but that same sponsorship could be dangerous in a larger election, motivating Democrats to vote en masse against the Trump-backed candidate.”
emoticons, no mood
Virginia’s local elections in early November painted the contours of an alternative path: the Trump path, without Trump.
When Republican millionaire Glenn Yongkin won the ballot, which sounded like a rehearsal for the midterm elections, Donald Trump immediately broke up a press release.
“I would like to thank my supporters for coming out in droves to vote for Glen Yongkin,” he applauded. “Without you, he won’t win.”
Is this too certain?
During his campaign, which focused on education and other key Republican indicators, the Virginia candidate tried to keep the former president at a safe distance. And the victory fared well from Trump’s 2020 results in suburban housing, especially among independent voters and women.
Symbols of a certain form of American comfort, these suburbs with whitewashed houses and well-decorated lawns will be one of the main causes of the 2022 election battles. However, the windy Donald Trump is less popular there than he is in the Great Country Plains. From the heart of America.
The former president’s popularity was also affected by the attack on Capitol Hill, when his supporters invaded the US Capitol on a cold January day.
“Talking about the future”
Thus, the victory of Glenn Youngkin in Virginia serves as a guide for Republicans: it is necessary to adopt the symbols, favorite themes of the Republican billionaire, while deviating from his outrageous positions that frightened the moderates.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell also urged the septuagenarian to stay off the ballot: “I think we need to talk about the future, not the past,” he told reporters.
But others in his camp aren’t that clear: It would be “ridiculous” to refuse to support Trump who recently warned Rick Scott, another influential figure in the party.
Because to millions, Donald Trump remains the man who liberated the country from the grip of the elite, cut taxes, and appointed countless conservative judges to positions where they could have a significant impact on debates in American society.
Analysis by AFP Peter Loge of George Washington University: “Donald Trump is where he wants to be – the center of attention.” “It’s hard to imagine fading away so others can shine a spotlight.”
The 2022 midterm elections will be critical in determining the level of support Trump will have… for the 2024 presidential election.
“If Trump-backed candidates win the election, Trump’s rating will go up,” the professor said. If Trump-backed candidates lose the election, his rating will drop.
“Total coffee aficionado. Travel buff. Music ninja. Bacon nerd. Beeraholic.”