Donald Trump has already begun flexing his influence over the GOP in the 2022 midterm elections, claiming Monday that Republicans needed to either embrace his platform or step aside. Speaking on Fox News’ “Hannity,” Trump promised consequences for those who opposed him.
He’s already said he’ll organize primary challenges to Sen Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia — two holdouts in an increasingly harried wing of traditionalist Republicans.
Trump was adamant Monday that only his “make America great agenda” could deliver victory for GOP congressional candidates.
“We’ve expanded the Republican Party,” he said. “If you want to win and win big, you have to do that. You have to do it.”
For evidence, Trump pointed to the share of Hispanic voters Republicans won in Texas during the 2020 election.
“We’ve expanded the Republican party. You’ve seen it: The Texas border, we have the biggest Hispanic vote since … reconstruction,” he said.
While Latino voters still break heavily for Democrats and Trump’s pull among them was mitigated by massive margins among Hispanic women, Trump’s campaign did indeed gain ground with the demographic.
A strong allegiance to Trump may not be a strong strategy. Prominent Republican power brokers like Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell have been reluctant to embrace Trump’s alt-right platform, wary of the catastrophic losses it earned the party in 2020.
In the 2018 elections, Democrats won the House. In 2020, Republicans failed to win back the House and lost the Senate and the White House.
Republican voters may be a different matter. Polls routinely show around 55% of GOP voters identifying as Trump fans first and Republicans second. His approval rating among conservatives remains in the high 80s.
Trump failed to reach 50% approval ratings in Gallup polls. There have been suggestions that Trump would start his own political party.