To Win in 2022, The GOP Must Move Past 2020


Monday, April 18, 2022

The first primary elections for the 2022 midterms are already underway, and the GOP seeks to take back the majority in the House of Representatives and Senate. This midterm cycle is a prime opportunity to do so.  

Since leaving the White House, Donald Trump and his allies have been building a slate of candidates who will challenge incumbents and commit to investigating the 2020 election. Party infighting between Trump-endorsed candidates who bolster his claims that there was fraud in the 2020 election and incumbents who refuse to play ball with the former president are looming over the GOP. 

For the sake of the future success of the Republican Party, voters should not support those former candidates in this year’s midterms. 

Supporting candidates who are campaigning on platforms of ‘fix the 2020 election’ and ‘reinstate Trump as president’ will not help the party regain power. This platform has proven to be unpopular with voters. According to the New York Post, a recent poll showed that among surveyed republican voters, “50 percent said the party should ‘move on’ from Trump’s claims.” 

This attitude was fully on display in the results from last year’s elections in Virginia. Although he did receive Trump’s endorsement, Glenn Youngkin ran a campaign that did not focus on the former president or the claims that the 2020 election was stolen. In fact, Youngkin steered clear of both and rarely mentioned Trump or the 2020 election while running for office. 

Ultimately, Youngkin prevailed along with the GOP candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general, leading the party to its first statewide victories in Virginia since 2009. 

Not only have campaigns centered on rehashing the 2020 election proven to be unpopular, but the candidates themselves have as well. 

In many races across the country, Trump-endorsed candidates and, in general, candidates supporting the claims of election fraud in 2020, are performing poorly in the polls when matched up against incumbents who choose to not discuss the past election in their campaigns. 

In the Georgia gubernatorial race, for instance, four polls conducted in the last three months show that Trump-endorsed candidate and former Senator David Perdue has polled below incumbent Governor Brian Kemp, who refused Donald Trump’s urges to block the certification of Georgia’s 2020 election results. 

In North Carolina, Trump’s pick for the open senate seat, Congressman Ted Budd, is currently trailing the front runner by over 10 points. 

In Idaho, Trump-backed Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin is challenging incumbent Governor Brad Little, who she ran on a ticket with in the 2018 gubernatorial election. In the latest poll for this race, McGeachin is registering over 40 points behind Little. 

It is clear that the Republican voters largely do not support candidates who promise investigations into the 2020 election results in exchange for a Trump endorsement. 

Some look to the Texas Republican primary that took place on March 1 as evidence that Trump candidates and their campaign platforms are what voters support in elections, citing the claim that 33 out of 33 Trump-endorsed candidates won in their respective primaries. 

While it may be true that every candidate the former president endorsed in Texas won their race or is the leading contender for a runoff election, The Washington Post reports that “most of the candidates being endorsed were incumbents — 25 of the 33” and would have “probably been favored anyway.” In addition, “seven of his endorsees were House incumbents who didn’t face opponents.” All in all, ‘33 out of 33’ greatly exaggerates the performance of these candidates. 

The GOP must realize as a whole that the best way forward for the party is to move on from past elections and focus on future ones. The 2022 midterm cycle is crucial for Republicans: it is an opportunity to take back power and provide a check on the radical agendas of Democrats in Congress and the White House. 

The party simply cannot afford to spend the election season obsessing over the former president and the outcome of a two-year-old election.  

Voters should support the candidates that have delivered results and that strive to advance conservative policy, not those who are stuck on the unalterable results of the past.

Jack Applewhite is a student at the University of Georgia where he is pursuing a degree in business management. Jack aspires to attend law school and has goals of one day running for public office.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.

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About Jack Applewhite

Jack Applewhite is a student at the University of Georgia where he is pursuing a degree in business management. Jack aspires to attend law school and has goals of one day running for public office.

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