BIG lesson from the first season of 2022


The 2022 primary season officially ended Tuesday night, with voters in New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Delaware casting their final ballots.

There are a lot of good takeaways from season one, but in raw political terms, there’s only one lesson that really matters when we think about where we are as a country right now: Donald Trump still holds the GOP. The party

In contested primaries, contested primaries, Trump’s candidate – and usually the former president’s explicit support – won. And in many of those races, Trump’s nominee defeated an opponent backed by the party establishment.

Tuesday’s results in New Hampshire are a good microcosm of this trend.

Don Bolduc, a retired Army brigadier general, won the Senate primary over a field of candidates that included state Senate President Chuck Morse. Bolduc did not receive Trump’s endorsement, but he is a supporter of the former president’s reelection denial and even floated the possibility of disbanding the FBI over the Mar-a-Lago search last month. Morse was seen as a more pragmatic candidate who had the backing of Republican New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu. (Sununu also said Bolduc was “not a serious candidate.”)

In the GOP Senate primaries in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arizona and North Carolina, a similar scenario played out. Candidates sought Trump’s endorsement and voting coalition, sometimes desperately, often accepting his false claims about the 2020 election. In each of these cases, Trump’s chosen candidate won the nomination.

(Sidebar: CNN’s Daniel Dale found that more than half of the 35 Republican Senate candidates this year expressed at least some skepticism about the outcome of the 2020 election.)

The governor’s races weren’t much different. In Arizona, Kari Lake, a high-profile election denier, endorsed Trump – and accepted a broad spectrum of Trumpism – for the GOP nomination. Ditto Doug Mastriano, in Pennsylvania, noted for his steadfast belief that he stole the 2020 election from Trump. In Wisconsin, Tim Michels won the Republican primary with Trump’s support, as did Tudor Dixon in Michigan. (Georgia was a notable exception here, with Governor Brian Kemp facing a primary challenge backed by Trump).

Which is a remarkable thing. Why? Because he’s a Trump the former The President of the United States, someone who lost his bid for a second term. And not only that, but someone who was in office when the Republicans lost their House and Senate majorities.

The story of Trump’s political life is marked by more failures than victories. And yet, there’s a compelling case to be made that he’s at least as strong today—in terms of his influence over the GOP—as he was when he was in the White House.

What does that mean going forward? Trump will enter the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination as the clear favorite, though whether he can appeal to voters outside the GOP base remains an open question.

point: Republican Party is Donald Trump’s party. Any doubt of that fact was erased in the first season of 2022.