(TargetLiberty.org) — Republicans just scored another win in the fight to retake key political strongholds located all across America. Former Trump favorite Mike Carey secured a win in Ohio’s 15th District special election on Aug 3. Now, some Republicans are calling it a positive omen and proof of Trump’s enduring influence over their party — but is that really true?
A Close Connection
Trump first tapped Carey for Ohio’s 15th race back on June 9, calling the candidate a “courageous fighter for the people” who would “do an outstanding job in Congress.” The coal lobbyist responded by vowing to fight for conservative values and earn Republican support.
But Carey’s alignment with Trump didn’t begin in June. Both men have championed the same goals and ideals over the past few years and in fact, agree on almost every aspect of Trump’s original platform, including the concept of America-first politics.
They consider themselves outsiders on the political stage, marketing themselves not as politicians, but as people who feel a deep sense of duty to protect American values. This perspective played a key role in securing a win for Trump in 2016 because many Republicans had grown tired of the “status quo.”
Harbinger of Hope, Or Coincidence?
Trump’s endorsement of Carey in June, and the recent win, clearly proves the former president maintains some measure of sway over the Republican Party. But trying to determine whether a single pre-game success constitutes proof of enduring influence isn’t quite as simple.
Ohio Northern University professor Robert Alexander attributes Carey’s win to low voter turnout and the sheer number of participating candidates instead, but acknowledges GOP members are still likely to seek Trump’s approval anyway.
Yet, the former president has also experienced losses in recent months.
Trump-favorite Susan Wright lost her North Texas bid to rival Jake Ellzey on July 28. Republican strategist Liz Mair compared him to older technologies few use in modern times:
“Yeah, it’ll still do stuff for you, and you’d rather have it than nothing, but it’s becoming more obsolete by the day.”
Trump’s spokesperson Liz Harrington instead blamed the loss on turncoat Democrats. She says they turned out in droves to vote for Ellzey, who’s also a Republican.
The real answer to the question of whether this is a sign of hope for the Republican party, and Trump’s future political endeavors, comes down to consistency. Continued wins will preserve his influence over the party, and likely, drive more demand for his approval. Additional losses, however, might have the exact opposite effect.
Copyright 2021, TargetLiberty.org