Republicans are alienating voters by bowing to its extremist base on culture war issues: NYT
Gage Skidmore.

With its MAGA base increasingly out of the mainstream of American political thought on social issues, GOP candidates are increasingly stuck in a bind as the seek the votes of independents.

"Republicans have perfected the art of keeping the heat on Democrats on the searing social issues of the day, but this election year, it seems to be Republicans who are getting scorched," The New York Times reported Saturday. "During a midterm cycle that seemed tailor-made for significant Republican gains in the House and Senate, Democrats have managed to grab the advantage on abortion rights and same-sex marriage, steering the conversation away from topics that are thornier for them, such as inflation and crime."

The report came as Trump travels to Ohio for a rally with Senate candidate J.D. Vance.

"One reason for their struggles is that a large swath of the Republican base has fallen out of step with broader public opinion on these issues. Most Americans favor same-sex marriage rights and at least some abortion rights, but many Republican voters continue to oppose same-sex marriage and want strict abortion limits if not an outright ban," the newspaper reported. "The disconnect makes navigating those topics treacherous for Republicans, who are faced with the choice of turning off their core supporters or alienating the independents whose support they need to prevail in November."

Democrats were given a gift when Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) pushed for nationwide abortion restrictions, reversing his opinion that the issue should be left to the states.

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"To cringes from many of his Republican colleagues, Mr. Graham declared that the coming election was essentially a referendum on abortion — and that if his party won control of Congress, it would, in fact, consider a ban," the newspaper reported. "Privately, many of Mr. Graham’s colleagues wanted to throttle him."

A new poll showed voters narrowly backing Democrats for Congress.

"Even as they struggle to persuade voters that they should be trusted on the economy, Democrats remain unexpectedly competitive in the battle for Congress as the sprint to November’s midterm election begins, a New York Times/Siena College poll has found. The surprising Democratic strength has been bolstered by falling gas prices and President Biden’s success at breaking through legislative gridlock in Washington to pass his agenda," the newspaper reported. "For now, the fury over abortion and the renewed spotlight on Mr. Trump have helped mask deep Democratic vulnerabilities that might ultimately make Republicans favored to retake Congress — if Republicans could refocus the electorate on the economy and inflation."