Ms. Stefanik and plenty of different Republican leaders are betting that the trail to holding the electoral good points of the Trump period lies in stoking their base with the populist politics which are central to the president’s model, even when they repel swing voters.
After months of being fed lies in regards to the election by the conservative information media, a lot of the occasion has come to embrace them as true. Sarah Longwell, a Republican strategist who has been conducting focus teams of Trump voters for years, stated that because the election she had discovered an elevated openness to what she calls “QAnon curious,” a willingness to entertain conspiracy theories about stolen elections and a deep state. “Lots of these base voters reside in a post-truth nihilism the place you consider in nothing and assume that all the things could be unfaithful,” stated Ms. Longwell, who opposed Mr. Trump. Contrasting the priorities of Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump, she added: “It’s an open query which technique wins: Making an attempt to do issues that materially enhance folks’s lives or making an attempt to assault issues that make them really feel aggrieved.”
Some Republican strategists fear that the occasion is lacking alternatives to assault Mr. Biden, who has proposed essentially the most sweeping spending and tax plans in generations.
As an alternative of presenting counterarguments to Mr. Biden and his $6 trillion financial agenda, Republicans are reorienting themselves to prosecute the perceived excesses of the left.
“Republicans want to return to kitchen-table points that voters actually care about, sprinkle in a little bit tradition right here and there however not get carried away,” stated Scott Reed, a veteran Republican strategist who helped crush right-wing populists in previous elections. “And a few of them are making an business out of getting carried away.”
Whereas clinging to Mr. Trump might assist the occasion improve turnout amongst its base, Republicans like Ms. Comstock argue that such a technique will harm the occasion with essential demographics, together with youthful voters, voters of colour, ladies and suburbanites. Already, intraparty fights are rising in nascent primaries as candidates accuse one another of disloyalty to the previous president. Many occasion leaders concern that might end in hard-right candidates’ rising victorious and ultimately dropping common elections in conservative states the place Republicans ought to prevail, like Missouri and Ohio.
“To declare Trump the winner of a shrinking minority, that’s not a territory you need to head up,” Ms. Comstock stated. “The way forward for the occasion will not be going to be some 70-year-old man speaking within the mirror at Mar-a-Lago and having all these sycophants come down and do the limbo to get his approval.”