On Saturday, KWBU reported that some Republican activists in Ohio are split over how much to involve former President Donald Trump in party politics going forward.
Trump proved to be an exceptionally strong candidate in Ohio, easily carrying the traditionally GOP-leaning but competitive state twice. However, nationwide, he lost the popular vote by nearly five points and was defeated in longtime Republican strongholds like Arizona and Georgia, prompting some conservatives in Ohio to wonder whether his endorsement would truly produce electable candidates.
"Ohio Tea Party activist Tom Zawistowski ... says Trump's time as president is to be applauded, but he also says Trump could have won reelection if he'd been better organized, more disciplined and had surrounded himself with better people,' reported Don Gonyea. 'Now Zawistowski wonders about Trump's next phase. 'What's Trump 2.0 really look like?' he asks. 'How much did he learn from this experience?'"
"Zawistowski has a practical request of Trump. If he's going to get involved in GOP primaries in upcoming local and state elections, Trump should be sure he does his homework. Consult with activists on the ground about whom to endorse," continued the report.
"'The problem there is that Trump's like the big elephant in the room," Zawistowski explained. "If he says, 'I'm endorsing this person,' well, I got news for you: That's probably who's going to win."
According to the report, "The Tea Party leader warns that picking the wrong person could leave some excellent hopefuls on the sidelines. He says he offers this unsolicited advice because he knows just how much clout Trump has with Republican voters in a state like Ohio."
Trump has currently not made an endorsement in the key upcoming Ohio Senate race to replace retiring Republican Rob Portman — although he summoned four of the major hopefuls to a Mar-a-Lago meeting described by insiders as like an episode of "The Apprentice."