Trump in the past: Escalating losses show the limits of power

Woodstock, J.A.; (AFP) – Donald Trump May opened by raising a subsequent candidate for the Ohio Senate As for the GOP nomination, it appears to bolster the former president’s kingmaker ahead of another potential election to the White House. However, he ended the month with a string of defeats which indicates a diminishing position.

Trump has faced a series of setbacks In Tuesday’s primaries as voters rejected his efforts to remove two main targets for revenge: Georgia’s Republican governor and secretary of state, both of whom rejected Trump’s extraordinary pressure to nullify the results of the 2020 presidential election. But the scale of the defeat in the governor’s race — more than 50 percentage points — was staggering. private and raised questions about whether Republican voters were starting to move on from Trump.

Nearly seven years after the reality TV star once launched what seemed an unlikely White House campaign, Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement is not going anywhere. But voters are growing up saying the party’s future revolves around more than Trump.

“I like Trump very much, but Trump is in the past,” said David Butler of Woodstock, Georgia, who voted for governor. Brian Kemp said on Tuesday that Trump’s approvals had “absolutely no” impact on his thinking.

It was the same for Will Barbhu, the 22-year-old dental assistant who also voted for Kemp.

“I’m not really a Trumper,” he said after the vote. “I didn’t like it at first. With all the electoral stuff, I was like ‘Dude, go ahead.'”

One thing Barbhu likes about the current governor? “Kemp is focused on Georgia,” he said.

Trump sought to play down the losses his favorite candidates had incurred, saying on his social media platform on Wednesday that he had a “large, very successful evening of political endorsement” and insisting that some races “could not have been won.”

However, the pattern of big defeats is hard to ignore.

After JD Vance jumped from third to number one after endorsing Trump in the final stage of the Ohio Senate primary, the dynamics took a turn. Trump’s choice in the primaries for Nebraska Governor Charles Herbster lost his race After allegations emerged that he touched women.

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In Idaho a week later, the governor defeated a Trump-backed rival. In North Carolina, voters reject Trump’s plea to give scandal-plagued congressman a second chance. And in Pennsylvania, the marquee for the Senate primary The famous heart surgeon Mehmet Oz who was endorsed by Trump still seems very close to calling him.

But his biggest annoyance was in Georgia, the crucial swing state, where the former senator was. David Purdue, whom Trump had pressured into running and helped clear the field for him, lost to Kemp. The governor was among Trump’s main targets after he refused to nullify the results of the 2020 White House elections in his state.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Ravensburger, who defied Trump’s call to “find” votes to change the outcome two years ago — a call now under investigation – He also got his party’s nomination. Attorney General Chris Carr and Insurance Commissioner John King – both of whom Trump opposed – also won the primaries.

In Alabama, Rep. Moe Brooks, who rescinded Trump’s Senate endorsement while struggling to lobbyhas reached the runoffafter he got support after Trump brought him down.

He has endorsed Trump in nearly 200 races, from governor to county commissioner, often inserting himself into competitions that aren’t particularly competitive and helping cement his winning streak. Some of his work has paid off, even in races with several candidates.

His early support in football helped the great Herschel Walker and representative. Ted Budd has sailed to the primaries for Senates in Georgia and North Carolina. Sarah Huckabee SandersTrump’s former press secretary, handily won the Republican nomination for governor of Arkansas. Even in Georgia, all of the candidates Trump backed have won the open races or are heading to the runoff.

Some allies say Trump’s approval rating is a poor measure of his influence, even if Trump has consistently touted that record.

They argue that voters may support the former president and yearn for him to run again, but may not be convinced by his choices, especially in races with governors like Kemp who has a long history with voters. Even without Trump on the ballot, the party has shifted in Trump’s image, with candidates embracing his “America First” platform, mimicking his tactics and repeating his lies about stolen elections.

But with Trump out of office and removed from office for posting on his social media platform, other voices are beginning to fill the void. Fox News host Tucker Carlson, the most watched character on cable television, became an ideological driving force in the party. Republicans are like an MP who embraces a conspiracy. Marjorie Taylor Greenwho won her party’s nomination for re-election Tuesday, took office in Washington.

Meanwhile, Trump’s potential presidential rivals are waiting in the wings for 2024.

Former Vice President Mike Pencewho had been distancing himself from Trump, rallied with Kemp in an Atlanta suburb on Monday night and told the crowd that “elections are about the future” — an implicit blow to his former boss.

Trump has also spawned a new generation of candidates who have channeled his “MAGA” brand, but who have done so independently of his support and see themselves as its next iteration.

“Maga doesn’t belong to him,” Cathy Barnett, the Pennsylvania Senate candidate who has stunned party insiders at a recent stage of the surge, said in an interview. Trump invented the word. He doesn’t own it.”

While the left, she said, might view the “Maga movement” as a “cult of Trump voters,” it goes beyond just one man. She said Trump succeeded in 2016 because he sided with voters’ concerns and said out loud what people were already thinking, particularly about immigration. She said that in her race she tried to do the same.

She added, “I really think Trump still has an important voice,” but he “needs to get better advisers and, in addition, needs to improve himself at remembering why we’re allied with him. And it wasn’t because we aligned with his values. It was because he aligned with his. We evaluated. And I think he needs to remember that in order for his voice to still fit.”

Other Republicans protest that precious time and money has been wasted in a revenge campaign led by Trump’s ego, forcing incumbents to fend for themselves in the primaries rather than focus on the general election. They worry that Trump has raised some candidates who may prove unelectable in November’s general election, exacerbating divisions.

“There is no doubt that unnecessary battles with the party’s extremists, and Trump’s grievance party, made it difficult for us to win in November,” Maryland Gove said. Larry Hogan, a potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate working to protect the incumbent governors.

Hogan, a Trump critic, said that so far, the races have been “a bit of a mixed bag,”

“We are in the midst of a battle for the soul of the Republican Party, and quite frankly, the battle is far from over,” he said. “I don’t think we can say exactly what the outcome will be yet. I think we still have more primaries.”

Others feel more confident in saying that Trump’s power has waned over time.

Endorsing Trump is helpful but not something in and of itself that can put anyone over the top. That means it’s less powerful than it was when he was president and it seemed like a fait accompli when he endorsed it,” said Mike Dohemy, a longtime GOP strategist.

He acknowledged, however, that Trump “remains the most influential person in the party,” even if that influence wanes.


Colvin reported from New York.

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