When President Donald Trump took office in 2017, Republicans controlled the White House and both branches of Congress. When he left office, Democrats controlled all three.
Writing in The Week, Ryan Cooper suggests that Republicans could be doing better at winning over voters instead of focusing on suppressing the votes of Americans who would support the other side.
"Over the past several months, many writers (including myself) have commented on the Republican Party's turn against democracy. The GOP plainly is plotting to seize power in the future by rigging the electoral system, which is already heavily biased towards the party. As Joshua Tait writes at The Bulwark, conservatives are reaching back to the anti-majoritarian arguments of intellectuals like William F. Buckley to justify their quest for power at any cost. It's a dire threat to America's democratic institutions," Cooper wrote.
"But what has been less remarked upon is that it isn't at all impossible for Republicans to compete in fair elections. With just a slight moderation in policy and by putting up their strongest elected officials as leaders, they would easily be able to assemble a national majority sooner or later. Instead they are choosing Donald Trump, and trying to rig elections because that's the only way to stuff him down the nation's throat," he explained. "Just consider the hugely popular Republican governors in multiple deep-blue states. In Maryland there is Larry Hogan, who was re-elected in 2018 with 55 percent of the vote; in Massachusetts there is Charlie Baker, who won in 2018 with 67 percent; and in Vermont (the home of socialist Bernie Sanders!) there is Phil Scott, who got 69 percent in 2020."
Cooper did note that all three would be expected to lose their home states in a presidential bid.
"Nevertheless, their huge success in heavily Democratic states demonstrates that many so-called liberals' commitment to the party's values and policies is paper-thin. Hogan's corruption in particular is practically Trump-esque — years back, he canceled a bunch of transit projects that had been painstaking planned for years, and redirected the money towards destructive, polluting highways near properties he owns personally, reportedly raking in millions for himself. Yet in a March poll, 81 percent of Maryland Democrats approved of Hogan — 16 points higher than Maryland Republicans," he wrote.
Despite the potential these governors demonstrate, Republicans have chosen to stick with Trump and voter suppression.
Read the full column.