Opinion | The GOP need moderates in 2022

With Trump back in the national spotlight, the GOP needs to find new moderates in 2022


Cecilia Shearon

Former President Donald Trump endorses Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley during Donald Trump’s “Save America” rally in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. Chuck Grassley has been an Iowa Senator since 1981. (Cecilia Shearon/The Daily Iowan)

Sophia Meador, Opinions Columnist

If you thought America saw the last of former President Donald Trump, think again. Trump has reentered the national spotlight months after losing his presidency. 

Trump’s current agenda includes campaigning for various Republicans ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. However, much of the campaigning includes spreading false narratives of election fraud and speaking out against the Biden administration. This includes Trump claiming, “We won by a lot” in Wisconsin, which has been fact-checked and proven false. 

The Republican party needs a new strategy after losing the presidency, Senate, and House of Representatives in 2020.

Months after the election, prominent Republicans still show support for the former president, including Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said “Can we move forward without President Trump? The answer is no. I’ve determined we can’t grow without him.”

Republicans need to desert Trump and appeal to moderates if they want to win back Congress in 2022.

Trump held a rally in Iowa on Oct. 9, where he endorsed Sen. Grassley, R-Iowa, for re-election.

“We must send the radical left a message they will never ever forget, and we must do it by electing record numbers of America-first Republicans, and we have a lot of great ones,” Trump said during the rally. 

This rally signifies an alliance between Iowa Republicans and Trump. An Oct. 4 Des Moines Register poll shows 91 percent of Republicans in Iowa approve of the former president.

While Trump’s approval rating in Iowa remains high, it’s not enough to win in 2022. The GOP must find new leaders to win back congress, because Trump has exiled much of the moderate base of the party. 

The pattern of dismissing Republican colleagues who speak against the former president is as old as Trump’s political career. The former president does not shy away from disparaging fellow Republicans who oppose his views and actions. 

This includes prominent and respected Republicans, including the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Sen. Mitt Romney R-Utah, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.  

The dismissal of prominent Republicans leads more moderate and independent voters to go in a different direction. 

In 2020, Trump lost both Arizona and Nevada. Nationally, Biden widely defeated Trump amongst independent voters. Biden also increased support among more moderate Republicans and substantially increased support among moderate Democrats. 

This national trend shows that the Republican party is not as far right as Trump. 

Though Republicans in Iowa generally approve of Trump, they must rally for a new leader of the party to win back Congress in 2022, and the White House in 2024.

While Trump has not announced plans whether he will run for president in 2024, it is heavily speculated that he will. The 2020 election proved that, although Trump has high popularity across the country, it is not strong enough to win.

Iowa plays a critical role in elections. Since 1972, Iowa has been the first state in the country to hold a caucus for presidential candidates. The caucuses are vital for presidential candidates because they provides strong momentum ahead of primaries across the country.

Because Iowa is important in the presidential elections, Republicans in Iowa need to show support for other candidates. The 2022 midterm elections will indicate where Iowa Republicans stand, and they need to stand differently. 

Republicans need a new base of more moderate and appealing candidates to win elections in 2022. Trump does not fit into the picture.

While Trumpism is popular in the U.S., the 2020 presidential election proved Trump is not strong enough. For Republicans to win in 2022, they need to elect more moderate candidates that appeal to their party, and to independent voters.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.


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