(UnitedVoice.com) – There is a lot at stake for the future of America in the 2022 midterm elections. Primary season is underway, and candidates are beginning to introduce themselves to voters on television and through community events. Both political parties are dealing with headaches that could impact the election results in November. Democrats face the question of whether far-left insurgents will defeat or beat up moderates enough to cost them seats in the House or the Senate.
For Republicans, it’s an entirely different story. For the most part, Republicans have devoted themselves to presenting a unified front to voters. Polls suggest that voters prefer GOP candidates over Democrats heading into election season as the economy faces severe headwinds due to inflation and a potential recession, crime is on the rise across the country, and schools and teacher unions continue to rebuff parents. Yet, a new rift may expose itself within the GOP. The question is, will it help or hurt Republican chances in November?
George W. Bush Picks a Side
It’s no secret former Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump don’t support one another. Through the 2016 campaign and beyond, Trump often criticized Bush for his economic policies and the war on terror. While Bush remained quiet, it wasn’t so much what he said as what he did that’s opening some people’s eyes to a potential rift in the Republican Party between Trump supporters and anti-Trump supporters.
In December, Bush donated the maximum amount possible to GOP anti-Trump incumbents Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). It’s notable that Senate establishment Republicans such as Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) heavily support Murkowski. Both Cheney and Murkowski voted to convict Trump in the January 2021 impeachment trial and accused the former president of inciting a violent riot on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021. The respective GOP state parties censored both Cheney and Murkowski. In addition, Cheney is one of only two Republicans who serve on the Democratic partisan House January 6 Select Committee.
Bush’s donations to Cheney and Murkowski are highly symbolic. It was his first campaign contribution for the 2022 midterm elections. Trump endorsed their opponents ahead of the primary season to unseat both the controversial incumbent Republicans. Cheney has drawn several challengers in the Wyoming primary, and Murkowski also faces stiff competition. Both could lose their primary elections on August 16.
Will Bush’s Donations Complicate GOP Efforts in the Midterm Elections?
While on the surface, Bush’s donations to the two embattled Republicans appear to be a slap in the face to most in the GOP, it’s unlikely to ruffle many feathers. Bush is part of the anti-Trump wing of the GOP, but it holds little influence. Within the GOP, Trump’s approval rating has improved since he left office in 2021. Nearly 9 in 10 Republicans have a favorable view of Donald Trump.
If Trump runs again in 2024, he will likely run away with the nomination. So, a little back and forth may be good for the party. It will hone Trump’s skills and prepare him for the 2024 debate over phony accusations of insurrection and racism. Plus, three years out of the spotlight can only serve to help him as Democrats continue to expose their radical agenda to transform America’s economy, society, and government — a plan which voters never gave Democrats a mandate to enact in 2021.
In the end, Democrats are much more vulnerable than the GOP over their internal schisms.
Still, the GOP situation merits a watchful eye.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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