According to a report from Politico's Melanie Zanona, GOP activists and consultants are growing worried that the emerging leaders of the Republican Party, should Donald Trump be defeated in November, will be hardcore Trumpists who will turn off voters even more and keep the party in the minority for the foreseeable future.
With polling showing Donald Trump's chances of remaining in the Oval Office diminishing, conservatives are looking at the what appears to be another "blue wave" election like 2018, that could see the Senate change hands along with the White House.
Among those concerns, is the belief that moderate Republicans could be swept away along with the president, leaving in place hardline conservatives who represent districts that have been held by the Republican Party for decades.
As Zanona notes, the remnants of the GOP could be even "Trumpier" with the addition of a few new faces who traffic in rightwing conspiracy theories.
"Whether President Donald Trump wins or loses in November, the House Republican conference is about to become even Trumpier. Not only have the party’s moderates left Congress in droves since Trump was elected in 2016 — either through retirements or electoral losses — but they’re being replaced with ultra conservative candidates who are unflinchingly loyal to Trump. And some of them have even embraced fringe conspiracy theories," she wrote.
"Some Republicans fear that the new makeup of the conference will make it harder to win back the majority anytime soon," she explained, adding that the president will likely leave a "lasting imprint" on the House long after he's gone.
According to former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), "That’s a real risk for Republicans. That they’re going to get some guy wearing a MAGA hat as opposed to people who might have a greater sense of what they believe in other than the president.”
Michael Steel, a former top aide to ex-Speaker John Boehner, agreed.
“What the House Republican Conference and the NRCC are going to have to decide going forward is whether they’re content to remain in the minority with that kind of member making up the House Republican Conference or whether they want to do the work of expanding the tent,” he explained. "The party needs to be defined by its best arguments, not the worst of its excesses.”