State GOP parties stand as Donald Trump firewall

Trump_Ominous (7)
Trump has mused about forming a third party. But it’s unclear why he needs one.

Donald Trump has mused about forming a third party. But it’s unclear why he needs one.

As he faces an impeachment trial for inciting insurrection, state and county Republican Party committees have rushed to Trump’s defense — highlighting the former president’s firm control of the GOP machinery.

In swing states and GOP bastions, state and local Republican committees are stocked with Trump supporters who remain loyal. Trump critics have been pushed out or marginalized. Party committees from Washington state to South Carolina have moved to punish many of the 10 House Republicans who supported Trump’s impeachment for egging on the deadly Jan. 6 raid of the U.S. Capitol.

Trump’s lock on the party apparatus is the result of a years long takeover of an institution he only loosely affiliated with before taking office. The effect amounts to a firewall protecting him and his far-right, nationalist politics from Republicans who argue the party needs a new direction if it wants to win elections.

In some cases, the state parties’ defense of Trump has exposed the extent to which disinformation, conspiracy theories and views once considered fringe have been normalized in the GOP.

In Oregon, the state party last week released a resolution passed by its executive committee that in part falsely alleged the Capitol attack was a “false flag” designed to embarrass Trump supporters. State parties in Hawaii and Texas have recently tweeted references to the QAnon conspiracy theory, which claims Trump is waging a secret battle against the “deep state” and a sect of powerful devil-worshipping pedophiles including top Democrats.

In other states, the rapid defense of Trump is notable for Republicans’ willingness to double down on Trumpism even after voters rejected it.

The Arizona state party Saturday reelected its controversial Trump loyalist chairwoman, Kelli Ward and censured Trump critics Cindy McCain, former Sen. Jeff Flake and even Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican Trump supporter who offended the party leadership by certifying Trump’s loss in the state.

In Washington state, several county party committees have called for the removal of the two House members who voted for Trump’s impeachment. Primary challengers have begun lining up to take on all 10 Republican House members who voted to impeach Trump.

Trump’s hold on state parties reflects the ex-president’s continued popularity with the base and the work his political operation has done to plant loyalists in the typically obscure local GOP apparatus. His re-election campaign focused heavily on packing state and county committees with devotees to avoid the spectacle of 2016, when many in the party’s machinery fought Trump’s nomination.

Trump brought in millions of new voters to the party with his populist approach. Republicans’ worry, however, is that the newcomers drive away other potential Republican voters.

Nearly 5,000 Arizona voters dropped their GOP voter registration in nine days after the Capitol attack, state figures show. In Pennsylvania, another state Trump lost, nearly 10,000 voters registered as Republicans had dropped their GOP affiliation as of Monday, according to state data. Trump’s hold on the party structure isn’t likely to ease soon. In many cases, supporters are elected to posts with multi-year terms and positioned to keep rising.

_____

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

Associated Press


2 comments

  • Sonja Fitch

    January 29, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    There is no Republican Party! There are only goptrump death cult sociopaths! Vote Democrat up and down ballot in 2022!

  • Ron Ogden

    January 29, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    The GOP is not a Trump firewall. It is an assk-kickin’ machine, and 11/22 gets nearer with each passing day.

Comments are closed.


#FlaPol

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704