Ever since former President Donald Trump became the de facto leader of the Republican Party in 2016, the party has been in a slow-moving disaster as they rack up an ever-growing "epic losing streak" as voters turn away from them, wrote Mike Allen and Zachary Basu for Axios on Friday.
Their troubles began in the 2018 midterms — and have just continued from there.
"First, the 2018 House elections were a disaster for Republicans: Democrats had a net gain of 40 seats to take over the House — their largest gain since the post-Watergate election of 1974," said the report. "Then Trump lost the presidency. Next, Republicans blew two runoff elections in Georgia and lost control of the U.S. Senate. The runoffs took place a day before Trump backers stormed the Capitol. Then, Republicans won the legal fight over abortion as Trump-appointed justices helped to ensure the reversal of Roe v. Wade. But the GOP lost a series of political battles over it afterward — a reflection of polls indicating that most Americans support abortion rights. GOP-led state legislatures have shown no signs of slowing their push to enact stricter abortion bans, suggesting continuing political backlash."
All the while, the report noted, they blew a number of winnable races, like the Arizona governor race, by nominating election deniers and conspiracy theorists, leading to an underwhelming performance in the 2022 midterms that saw them only barely win the House, lose ground in the Senate, and lose governorships and state legislatures.
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The losing streak continued this week, said the report, as "progressive Democrats triumphed in two of this year's most consequential elections. Brandon Johnson, a teachers' union organizer, was elected Chicago mayor. In swing state Wisconsin, Democrat-backed Janet Protasiewicz flipped the state Supreme Court to liberals in a landslide, after leaning into her support for abortion rights." That win could severely weaken GOP institutional power in the state, including their gerrymander of the state legislature.
And there are signs the streak may continue, said the report — Republicans have been handed a heavily favorable Senate battleground map in 2024, but even more extremist candidates are threatening their chances in winnable races, all while Trump makes the entire party's message an "agenda dominated by vengeance and victimhood."