Justin Merriman/Getty Images
in Licking County, Ohio, east of the capital Columbus. Bumper stickers on pickup trucks make it clear that it’s Trump’s country.
And at a recent county Republican women’s meeting, retired Geraldine Jacobs, 66, made it clear that she was a supporter of Trump.
“Unfortunately, we went from the best president to the worst president today,” she said.
Trump won 63% of the vote in Licking County in last year’s presidential election. On the way to easily operate the state a second time. The results seem to prove that Ohio is not the perennial battleground state that many people still think of.
Republican politics in Ohio has also changed in the Trump era. And with the retirement of Sen. Rob Portman as a key part of forming the GOP, changes are coming. As the Republican county that will replace him begins to take shape in the early days, it is clear that Trump continues to have unusual influence in the state.
Trump loses. His influence among the GOP remains strong.
Polls since Trump left office It revealed that many Republicans still see him as the party leader. The same polls show that most Republicans are still wrong to say Trump won in 2020. He didn’t.
Licking County’s Jacobs falls into that category. She said President Biden didn’t win in November. causing allegations of ballot counting to be stopped on election night. It even suggested that Fox News was involved. when pressured She gave no evidence to support her claim, saying: “I looked at what happened on election night. And I can’t believe Fox News, I mean. That’s the end of Fox News for me.”
Trump’s influence in Ohio – even after the defeat – so far has shown no sign of a decline.
In the Ohio Legislature, where the GOP controls the agenda with a majority vote. Republicans are looking to enact new voting laws. After Trump’s groundless claims of fraud in the 2020 election, there was even an offer to rename the state parks following Trump and to honor him with a public holiday. The hopes of the US Senate are jogging that will the most Republican candidate pro-Trump And the fact that Congressman Anthony Gonzalez in the Cleveland area voted to impeach Trump in January makes him a convenient target for Republicans who want to keep an eye on Trump and possibly endorsement.
But even at Licking County’s GOP gathering, there are many opinions on the former president and the role he should play in Republican politics.
The guest speaker at the event was GOP adviser Matt Dole, who offered little consolation to viewers who might love Trump. But he doesn’t like his Twitter habits much.
“We have to protect everything at Donald. Trump does it each day,” Dole told his audience of about 50 Republican members. He added that they were all for Trump’s policies. “But sometimes his tweets get in the way.”
Now, he said, the focus for GOP activists must win by the middle of next year and hold Portman’s U.S. Senate seat in Ohio. That’s crucial for the party’s goal of winning over two Houses of House control by 2022.
Republicans hope Trump will stay in office. But according to Dole They are now free to make mistakes and focus on attacking the policies of Biden and Democrats.
Look out for new upcoming GOP leaders.
There are Trump voters who appear to be ready to move on. Tricia Moore, a lawyer and chairman of the Licking County GOP women’s group, was asked if Trump was still party leader. She began the response by giving the former president due: “Trump is a great person. I think he’s not afraid to say what he believes. not afraid to speak what is not popular”
But then she made it clear that she was already seeing others as the future of the party: “I think there are other Republicans. who came out strong and stood up for these conservative values to move forward.” Moore noted that she closely watched Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and enjoyed what he saw.
It’s still hard to beat Trump’s dominance. Which is what he will use to convince the midterm exam next year.
And that complicates things, according to Ohio Tea Party activist Tom Zawistowski. He said Trump’s time as president must be applauded. But he also said Trump could be re-elected if he were better organized. more disciplined and surround yourself with better people
Zawistowski now wonders about Trump’s next steps. “What does Trump 2.0 look like?” he asked. “How much has he learned from this experience?”
Zawistowski has a practical request from Trump. If he is to participate in the GOP primary elections in the upcoming local and state elections. Trump should make sure he does his homework. Consult with local activists on who to support.
“The problem is that Trump is like a big elephant in the room,” Zavistowski said. “If he says ‘I vouch for this one.’ I have news for you: that could be a winner.”
The head of the tea party warned that choosing the wrong person could leave great hope on the sidelines. He said he offered this unsolicited advice because he knew how much Trump influenced Ohio’s Republican voters.
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images
Democrats fight midterm history
For Democrats in Ohio It’s a very different situation. They were firmly resisting the plot that was now a red state.
Representative Monique Smith, a member of the state House of Representatives who flipped her Cleveland suburb from red to blue last year, said it was difficult for Trump to secure her hometown twice.
“It’s heartbreaking, partly about who you are,” Smith said. What do you think that means? I think that means that we are quite common sense and quite common. So it stunned me.”
Meanwhile, Ohio Democratic President Elizabeth Walters seems to have continued to appreciate Trump’s influence on the state GOP. And she predicts that next year’s US Senate race. Democrats will do well with voters who see how Biden dealt with the epidemic and the economy.
“There’s no better argument than reality,” she said. “I think it means that not a single Ohio Republican voted to support America’s recovery plan,” Walters described it. are “A clear and simple decision who is on your side. Who cares about you and your family? And who doesn’t care?”
She said Democrats have things to do in Ohio. And Trump’s involvement in the state race makes it easy to convince voters what the stakes are for those without Trump’s worldview.
Still, longer-term historical trends indicate that the first midterm exam after the presidential election has always been difficult for the new president’s party.