(FiveNation.com)- Former President Donald Trump may not be in the White House any longer, but he’s still an extremely influential politician in the ranks of the Republican Party.
Trump has been focusing heavily on reshaping the GOP in his image, and he’s doing so by endorsing various candidates in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections who he believes run on his platform.
Already, he’s thrown his support behind 40 Republican candidates who are running for election either this year or next. He has also supported candidates for state senator, Congress and even governor.
Former presidents rarely stay this involved with party politics, but Trump is engrossed in everything that’s going on in and out of Washington. He’s serving as sort of a king-maker, looking to anoint new voices in political roles.
According to Wayne Lesperance, a political scientist who serves as the vice president of academic affairs at New England College, said how many endorsements Trump has given out already this year is “unheard of in recent political memory.” He continued:
“Once again, former President Trump is proving to march to the best of his own drums.”
The 2022 midterm elections are extremely important, as Democrats hold only very slight majorities in both the House of Representatives and Senate. Republicans are looking to regain control of both chambers.
But, Trump isn’t looking to support just any Republicans. He wants to oust those who he refers to as RINOs and get people who align with his values in Washington.
This means that sometimes, Trump is supporting the same candidates that other Republican leaders are, and sometimes, he’s supporting a challenger to that candidate in the GOP primary.
Republican candidates are hoping that Trump will throw his support their way, or at least that he doesn’t back one of their challengers.
As the communications director for Trump’s former leadership PAC, Taylor Budowich, said:
“President Trump’s endorsement is the most powerful and sought after endorsement in the history of American politics. He will continue to identify and support strong candidates who will advocate for his America First agenda in Congress and state houses across the nation.”
One of the biggest battleground states in the midterm elections is going to be Georgia, where two Democrats won runoff elections for the U.S. Senate that ultimately flipped the upper chamber to the Democrats.
Trump is planning to hold a rally in the state this coming weekend, and he’s backing a candidate there who has much more accolades as a professional athlete than he does as a politician.
Former NFL star Herschel Walker has gotten Trump’s endorsement there, as he looks to take out Democratic incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock.
Walker has great name recognition, of course, but lacks any political experience at all. This has some in the GOP there worried that he won’t make for a great candidate in a general election against Warnock.
But, maybe Trump’s support alone will be enough to carry him over the top — just as many others are hoping in other races.