This is an excellent article on OZY about five 2018 primaries that will give us an idea of how the Trump Effect is playing inside the Republican Party. Most of the coverage of 2018 is coming from a Democratic perspective, simply because as the party that’s gotten its head caved in the last two elections, it’s interesting to see what direction they’ll move.
However, the GOP, despite holding almost every single elected office in America (note: slight hyperbole, only slight) is itself in a precarious position. It’s President is not only woefully unpopular but also someone who as recently as a year ago was threatening to run outside the Republican Party. Moreover, the party already spent the previous few cycles torn between first a conservative/establishment battle and then a conservative establishment/Tea Party battle. That leads me to wanting to highlight this snippet from the OZY article:
Republican strategist Charlie Gerow says a successful candidate [in the Pennsylvania Senate primary] won’t replicate the unique Trump model, but the “Pat Toomey model,” based on Pennsylvania’s senator who won re-election last year: “Conservative without a hard edge.”
As someone who is from Pennsylvania I cannot tell you how insane this sounds to me. When Toomey primaried Arlen Specter in 2004, he was thought of as a candidate so hardcore right wing that he couldn’t win statewide. Now, not only as he won (twice!) but is the candidate that’s being used as the model of sanity. The GOP has come a long, unfortunate way in a short time.
And Democrats still can’t beat them.