As 2022 primaries draw closer, the question of Donald Trump’s influence over voters and polling looms large. Is there any chance that his legal struggles, his refusal to make an official statement on his own candidacy, his pleas for donations, or his role in the January 6th attack will lessen his control over the Republican Party?
Well, there’s a reason the GOP has been accused of becoming a ‘cult of personality,’ and it seems that the leader of that cult is still Donald Trump. The Republican Accountability Project released a video compilation of some takes from Pennsylvania’s debate amongst GOP Senate hopefuls, and as you can see, each candidate’s devotion to Trump, and the amount of approval or support Trump has shown each candidate, was a primary subject on the debate floor.
Anyone suggesting that Trump is losing his grip on the GOP should watch these highlights from tonight's PA Republican Senate debate. pic.twitter.com/4oKvJXA1Ac
— The Republican Accountability Project (@AccountableGOP) April 26, 2022
It’s a crowded race, and it’s already a contentious one, with Trump granting his endorsement to Mehmet Oz, perhaps better known as TV’s Dr. Oz. MAGA hasn’t fully jumped on the Dr. Oz train despite Trump’s endorsement,
There has been some discussion about the weight of a Trump endorsement now, especially after he withdrew one in Alabama for a candidate who was trailing in polls. We’ve also seen a Trump-endorsed House candidate knocked out of her race in Tennessee, by GOP officials who made it clear they didn’t appreciate Trump’s hand in their election.
Despite all that, the focus on Trump shown in the Pennsylvania GOP Senate debate seems to demonstrate that proximity to him still matters, even if his stamp of approval isn’t a full-blown coronation.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com