Fair warning. I am not just writing this off of the cuff as I go. In fact, I have spent more than 2 weeks researching and checking polling and primary results just to confirm the feeling I had. And from where I’m sitting, it’s time to go to press and share it.

From what I can see, the 2022 midterms are going to be the apocalyptic battle for the soul of the GOP as a political party. I along with several other bloggers, and even people with letters after their name have written sporadically about the wide and deepening schism in the party between the traditional GOP and the Trump GOP. And everything I’m seeing tells me it’s about to reach a head. For several reasons.

First, Trump’s hold on the GOP is weakening. Power begets power, and right now Trump is fresh out of power. Trump’s popularity in the GOP is hovering right around 70%, not bad, but if he were an incumbent, warning claxons would be going off. Also, only 48% of GOP voters want Trump to run again in 2024, and recent GOP convention straw polls show FL Governor Ron Pissantis running either even with or slightly ahead of Trump.

Yeah, yeah, I know, Trump’s vaunted base. Well, guess what? It’s actually shrinking. For a couple of reasons I can see. One, Trump’s less than impressive social media presence is making it harder for him to be omnipresent to his base. And when he holds rallies, as a private citizen, none of the media networks are picking it up. Supporters get maybe a snippet or two on the 10 o’clock news.

More importantly is the age old axiom. Everybody loves a winner! When Trump was on top, his rabid base could live vicariously through his success. They were winners too! Even after Trump’s crushing defeat, he was able to staunch the bleeding by claiming that the election was stolen! But after almost 2 years of the Biden presidency, some of his less rabid supporters are starting to think to themselves, Dude! Even if you wuz robbed, you ain’t getting magically transported back to the Oval Office again! Trump is finally starting to look like a LOSER! And who has time for losers.

As the old Popeil ads used to say, But wait! There’s more! Anti Trump GOP forces are better organized and better funded than ever before. The Lincoln Project has been a constant thorn, not only in Trump’s ass, but the Trump GOP’s as well. And former Trump DHS executive Miles Taylor has an active effort underway to educate and motivate moderate GOP voters to show up at the polls for the primaries and turf out Trump acolytes.

And for whatever reason, it seems to be at least partially working. In his Alpha Male hopes of maintaining dominance over the GOP and the RNC, Trump has endorsed candidates in almost every primary that comes before his magpie eyes. And his efforts are having, at the best, mixed results.

In picking winners in open seats, Trump is doing pretty well. Mehmet Oz, Doug Mastriano, Herschel Walker, and JD Vance have all advanced. Although all of them are trailing their Democratic opponents. But in races with GOP incumbents, Trombies aren’t doing so well. In Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger both easily withstood Trump backed primary challengers. And other GOP House incumbents are surviving Trump backed challengers as well. This weakens Trump’s Kingmaker persona, even among his base.

There is only one way in which this has a positive outcome for Trump. The GOP not only must retake the House and the Senate, but Trump nominees must kick ass in the process. That will allow Trump to solidify his hammerlock over the GOP and make himself the prohibitive frontrunner in 2024.

And if that happens, the traditional GOP is dead. For the simple reason that Trump is already throttling the GOP for cash with his grassroots fundraising, and the reticence of deep pocket GOP donors to shell out for radical candidates. Trump will bleed the GOP and the RNC dry for the next two years if the midterm results favor him.

But if the Democrats hold, or even increase their House and Senate majorities in November, then Trump’s hold on power over the GOP becomes untenable. Moderates will blame Trump for blowing a shoo in midterm takeover. There are moderate GOP incumbents, like Adam Kinzinger, who retired rather than face a Trump backed primary challenger. If incumbents win, especially in the primaries, then 2024 incumbents won’t be so shy about defending their seats. And it only strengthens The Lincoln Project, and Miles Taylor’s group.

And it also means that GOP schmucks like Ted Cruz, Ron Pissantis, Mike Pence, and Glenn Youngkin will feel much more emboldened to make their move against Trump in 2024. And there will be no reason for the RNC to ditch presidential primaries the way they did in 2020.

That’s how I see it. If the GOP prevails in 2022, especially if Trump endorsed candidates roll, then the traditional GOP is dead, Trump will cash starve it for his own personal gain. And if the Democrats hold and/or extend their majorities, then like a bad fever, Trump’s hold on the GOP is broken. Vote your asses off, organize, and GOTV. The future is now. Here endeth the lesson.


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  1. I’m cautiously optimistic about the midterms. Biden’s low poll numbers are a combination of biased MSM coverage and Joe Manchin tanking his agenda. We have more workers trying to unionize. After Buffalo, Uvalde and Highland Park, gun safety laws are increasingly popular and the rethugs are seen as the party of the NRA. Bodily autonomy, in wake of the SCROTUS decision in Dobbs, is a very salient issue. The rethugs are so stupid they don’t even want to make exceptions for rape, incest and the health of the mother. They can’t even manage the bare minimum. Add that they want to criminalize women seeking abortion and doctors providing it, makes their position untenable for most Americans. So we should have the wind at our back. But this is the USA, where most eligible voters don’t vote.

    • The thing to remember tuckedd is that, candidates can ruhn AWAY from the President…Just look at the 2006 midterms…W wanted nothing more than to campaign on behalf of his party, but nobody wanted to touch him with fire tongs, so he stayed home…Biden can still be useful in places like OHIO AND pa, WHERE HIS POPULIST MESSAGE SELLS…

      • Yeah, but I don’t think they need to run away from him so much, but to assert they are running to represent their constituents. They want what their people want. I agree he would be most unwelcome in certain localities, so his participation in individual races will probably be restricted.

  2. “And there will be no reason for the RNC to ditch presidential primaries the way they did in 2020.”

    Technically, the RNC didn’t “ditch the presidential primaries”; they coerced the states to not include a preference/choice for president on the primary ballots. While the president is typically the prime attraction for any primary ballot, most primaries do feature other races.

    It’s true that USUALLY an incumbent doesn’t face any challengers during a re-election campaign but that’s because the incumbent is truly so popular that no one wants to run against them. But it DOES happen. Carter faced a challenge from Ted Kennedy in 1980. George H W Bush faced a challenge from Pat Buchanan (and some other lesser names) in 1992. Even George W Bush faced a bunch of minor challenges in 2004 and Barack Obama faced a bunch of minor challenges in 2012. Trump pressed the RNC to make the states keep a choice for President off their ballots largely by bringing up his belief that Obama wasn’t challenged in 2012 (“fake news,” by the way; nearly 800,000 primary votes were for “uncommitted” or for one of 15 declared candidates who appeared on state ballots–13 of them were on New Hampshire’s primary ballot, 9 of whom appeared only on the NH ballot). Trump’s ego could simply not allow for ANY challenge by anyone. No matter how much of a “vanity campaign” an opponent might run, no matter how much of a “fifteen minutes of fame campaign” it might be, it was just too much for Trump’s ego to accept. Even if Trump got 99.9999999999% of all GOP primary votes, that mere 0.0000000001% that might have not voted for him would be too much for his overblown ego to handle.


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