In the days leading up to the Georgia runoff senate elections president Donald Trump made a last-ditch effort to save his political career. Trump called the secretary of state of Georgia and urged him to overturn election results to favor Trump. This comes at a time when Trump has accused the entire electoral system of the United States of fraud and pointed fingers plenty of times. The secretary of state of Georgia Brad Raffensperger pushed back Trump’s claims of fraud and defended the decisions made during the election with legal reasons. This call lasted about an hour and was peppered with Trump demanding that a certain number of votes be found that would secure him the state. Calling the secretary of state of Georgia to secure an election win in January may seem unnecessary, but for congressional republicans these senate runoff elections are everything.
Georgia is the key for senate democrats to gain control of the upper house and allow for Joe Biden’s policy to easily pass. The two seats up for grab are being defended by two incumbent republicans that have not had the best election runs. Both political parties have poured in almost 700 Million dollars just for the Georgia runoff elections alone. The peach state is now a last stand for the Republican party to hold onto power in Washington. The battleground for Washington’s future is also significant because a loss in Georgia means that the classic red stronghold would be flipped completely blue for the near future. The intensity of this race has made everyone try and influence the election.
President Trump has rallied in Georgia and riled up supporters in the state to help the republican incumbents, but this could have unintended consequences. Trump’s support of candidates could turn away more moderate middle class voters who swung towards Biden. Trump’s rallies could also surge republican voters and secure congressional victories. Another possible consequence of the Trump endorsements is that the candidates defending their seats might be forced to confront their political affiliations within the Republican party. Candidates might be forced to choose between accepting the Trump blessing or deviating from the core Trump ideology. This split is a big deal and has already happened in other parts of America.
Once Trump loses the presidency the Republican party will have to choose between sticking to an aggressive Trump ideology or straying to a new more moderate identity. Sticking with the Trump ideology means that the Republican party will be beholden to Trump for possibly up to another 8 years. Straying away from Trump era practices would push away the large rural base in the short term but could eventually allow for the Republican party to re-align their message in future presidential and congressional elections. A choice will have to be made and there will be consequences either way.
The big choice for the Republican party could result in a few different scenarios in the upcoming presidential election. One scenario is that Trump runs as the Republican candidate again and a repeat of 2020s ideological battles takes place. Another scenario is that Trump runs as an independent candidate while both mainstream parties host their traditional candidates, and the republican vote is split. A third scenario is that the Republican party leans into Trump era tactics, but forces Trump to run third party and hosts their own candidate to try and scrape at Trump’s base. A final scenario that could occur is that Trump could try and swing hardline moderate and attempt to win a national election against both parties by looking like the middle of the line non-establishment candidate.
The future of the Republican party could be defined by aggressive Trump tactics or a moderate “old school” republican approach that comes straight from traditional politics.