For some, it was a welcome option on Election Day.
“Trump’s not my GOP guy,” one swing voter in New Jersey explained to me.
Congressional Republicans drew a much sharper conclusion from the off-year elections, casting the results as a direct rebuke of the agenda put forward in Congress by President Biden and Democrats.
“Americans want limited government and maximum freedom,” said U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Greensboro. “It’s that simple.”
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Rome, boiled it down to five words.
“Don’t mess with people’s kids,” Greene said.
Republicans felt education was their key issue in Virginia, as they assailed Coronavirus mask rules, and accused Democrats of trying to teach ‘radical ideologies’ by limiting the input of parents.
“You’re going to have the Pledge of Allegiance to the progressive flag and not the American flag,” said U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., who warned a Democratic reconciliation bill would mean “Drag Queen Story Hour” in your local schools.
Whether that education argument works or not, the GOP is certainly favored to take back Congress in 2022.
“(Tuesday’s) swing from 2020 works out to like a 50 seat Republican gain in the House,” said GOP pollster Patrick Ruffini, who argued the results in Virginia ‘showed that rural America will show up big for someone not named Donald Trump.’
But what if Trump gets substantially more involved in Georgia for 2022? Could his presence again hold down the GOP vote in the suburbs of Atlanta like in 2020? We’ll find out the answer on Nov. 8, 2022.
Jamie Dupree has covered national politics and the Congress from Washington, D.C. since the Reagan administration. His column appears weekly in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. For more, check out his Capitol Hill newsletter at http://jamiedupree.substack.com