And what do you know? Trump-leaning GOP candidates generally did well; on the other hand, there weren't very many non-Trumpy Republicans running. Possibly none at all. Ohio's batch varied from the centrist (but willing to nod along) Mike DeWine to the MAGA-rific and Trump-endorsed J. D. Vance. Indiana was much the same except for a distinct lack of DeWines on the ballot.
Pundits had pointed to these primaries as tests of Mr. Trump's continuing power within his party and were prepared to cast the results as confirming or disproving it. It makes great press but the real test was in the candidates who stepped forward to run, and you'd look in vain for any friends of Liz Cheney among them. It was obvious long before election day.
That's where that party is, at least here in flyover country, an observation as unexpected as finding vanilla on the menu at an ice-cream stand. The appeal of a big, loud, strong personality should not be underestimated, and it doesn't matter in the least if he's peddling pernicious stuff and nonsense. Mr. Trump's line has become Party orthodoxy. Whatever their private opinions, the public utterances of the party's office-holders and especially candidates for office are going to adhere to it. It's what Republican voters want to hear.
The real test will be in November. Like the primary, it will not be test of truth or rightness, only of electability. There are many months between now and November; war rages in Europe, supply-chain woes persist, COVID-19 is (still!) simmering in the northeast U.S. and parts of China, and only a fool would be entirely confident in any prediction for the upcoming election. The old rule was to play to one's base in the primary and aim for wider appeal in the general; I don't know if either party's* candidates are willing, let alone able, to do so.
If I had my way, I'd make prospective candidates take -- and pass -- Civil Service exams or at least the government's Occupational Questionnaires and manage a seventy percent score or better before they could run for office. But the worst of them would just cheat and sail through with the highest scores, so....
* If I've left the Democrats out, it's because they ran single candidates if any for the offices they have no hope of winning in the Fall and the few contested spots were not a test of anything except how well the candidates campaigned; that's the hard work of running, but it's rarely blogfodder or even newsworthy unless one of them sets out to shake every hand in their district and succeeds. It doesn't appear that anyone from either party cared that much this time around.
BUILDING A 1:1 BALUN
2 years ago