The Republican Party is About to Get a Whole Lot Trumpier
The media is wrong — Trump’s endorsement isn’t withering and underestimating his appeal is how he got elected in the first place
Dozens of pundits and opinion writers have predicted that Trump would lose his grip, was losing his group, or now that a few of his endorsements haven’t been successful that he has already lost his grip. Countless articles and news segments have asserted this idea for the past several months, like CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post, the Brookings Institute, Business Insider, the New York Times — to name a few.
The truth is: it’s still too early to tell, but here are some signs that aren’t mentioned in these news segments that attempt to undermine the ex-president’s influence on the Republican party.
According to Ballotpedia, from 2018 to 2020, the odds of Trump endorsees winning a general election actually went up significantly. In 2018, during the only midterm election of his presidency, his record was 59–41, and just two years later, when he was running for a second term, it was 144–44. Not only did Trump endorse twice as many people, the percent that won their general elections jumped from 59% to 77%. Now that Trump is no longer in office, his primary record sits at 94–7 so far, or roughly 93%. While this is lower than his 98% record in the 2020 primaries, there is a larger share of incumbents this year compared to previous election cycles.
Trump endorsed 20% more incumbents this year than in 2018, and over 10% more than in 2020. Despite the assertions that the ex-president endorsed a plethora of riskier candidates, he also backed more incumbents than previous years, which historically hold a better advantage of winning than their political challengers.
It’s also important to acknowledge: the majority of the Republicans, who don’t have Trump’s endorsement, are still running as MAGA candidates. Then, there’s a faction of the party that recognizes his influence, and despite disliking him, they will “get in line” if it means putting party before country. Even Mitch McConnell, who has criticized Trump extensively behind closed doors, said he would “absolutely” support him in 2024 if he were to run again.