There are Republican members of Congress who are concerned that former president Donald Trump will be a “drag” on the party’s chances in their election bids in 2024.
Republican candidates who are particularly vulnerable are concerned about the “Trump drag,” as the former president increasingly seems to imprint his MAGA brand on the whole party.
Twenty-three Republican House candidates triumphed in 2016 despite Trump’s loss in their districts. These Republicans didn’t just narrowly beat Trump; they averaged a 20-point victory against their 2016 nominee.
After two years, these voters no longer differentiated between Trump and Republican House candidates. Twenty-one of those 23 Clinton-held Republican seats shifted to the Democrats in 2018.
These “swing districts” voted heavily for the Democrats again by 2020. Of the 23 districts that Clinton had carried in 2016, Biden won 21, and the House Democrats won 15.
Twenty-three Republican candidates were victorious in the 2016 elections, where Trump lagged. Only nine Republicans were successful in doing the same thing four years later.
By associating the Republican Party with Trump and the Make America Great Again movement, Democrats were able to win back a Senate seat and prevent further losses in the House of Representatives in 2022.
The CNN panel discussed these dynamics. Manu Raju added that the GOP primary between Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, which has already been an ugly slugfest, will not be the only brutal bout in 2024.
In 2024, Raju added, Republicans will have to preserve their narrow majority in the House and try to grow it, but there is fear of a ‘Trump drag’ for Republicans down the ticket.
Raju specifically named controversial Rep. George Santos (R-NY) as one of those Republicans, saying that once his numerous falsehoods were exposed, the federal government indicted him, and an ethics probe was opened.
Raju pointed out that the Democrats only need five flipped seats and could quickly get that from just New York.
It should be noted that Biden is highly unpopular, and the elections will come down to the economy like it usually does.