Donald Trump, a Kingmaker in the GOP: Office Gone but the Authority Remains

Donald J. Trump was perhaps the most contentious president in modern American history. His tenure further divided an already polarized nation by policy measures on national issues, like green energy, fracking, coal, and tax cuts for wealthy people.

To date, he holds the key to modify election results in the US, as the consequential voters can change their votes on his one statement.

As he remains the kingmaker in driving the election away from most of the Republican candidates, his ability to mobilize voters, specifically evangelicals, puts him in the driving seat.

The trend and data suggest that Trump’s endorsements are more important today than ever for Republicans, who cannot afford to go against the Republican’s boss or they would face the consequences.

Despite losing the presidential election to President Joe Biden, many analysts believe he is still pivotal and Republican Party’s make-or-break figure.

If he decides not to run again for the presidency in 2024, any Republican in his place would still need his endorsement to stand a chance in the next elections.

He is relying on his popularity among Republican voters to maintain his position as a powerful figure at the GOP’s core to impact the Republican primary.

Mike Carey, a coal lobbyist endorsed by Trump for Ohio’s 15th District, won the primary for the November 2022 election, signifying the importance of Trump’s endorsement for any political candidate.

When the issue of Trump making a new party was in the limelight, the chances of Republicans’ destruction were severe.

Now, when he has started giving political endorsements to the candidates, those having the inability to get his endorsement are worried about their political careers.

After winning Ohio, Trump can once again claim that his support is a determining factor in Republican primaries. 

What is the importance of Trump’s support for Republicans? An opinion poll indicates that Carey’s popularity jumped from 20% to 52% after Trump’s endorsement.

Donald Trump, a Kingmaker in the GOP: Office Gone but the Authority Remains

Trump’s Endorsement of Republicans is the Single Biggest Factor for a Republican Win

According to Bellatopia, only 2 of the 120 candidates supported by Trump lost in the congressional primaries in 2020.

However, the midterm elections in 2018 show a completely different picture. Ten of nineteen candidates endorsed by Trump won their elections for governor.

The same year, 29 candidates out of 49 were elected to the US House of Representatives. Among the twenty Senate candidates Trump endorsed, ten won their races.

But those were the old times. Back then, the Trump endorsement did not carry much weight. However, until the end of his presidency, he cemented his place as a voice of the Republicans, which is shown by the 2020 results.

In 2020, out of 149 candidates, 116 of Trump’s endorsed candidates were elected to the US House of Representatives, while 18 of the 23 Trump-endorsed candidates were elected to the US Senate.

Donald Trump, a Kingmaker in the GOP: Office Gone but the Authority Remains


Trump: A Big Man in Manipulating GOP Politics

The general perception is that there is no parallel to Trump in the GOP party leaders at the moment, and no potential candidate wants to be in Trump’s bad books. For that reason, he continues to meddle with the GOP’s electoral plan. 

Trump has endorsed a slew of House and Senate candidates for next year’s key midterm elections. Since departing from the White House, many of them are conspiracy theorists and even political outsiders, forcing them to walk Trump’s path.

In Georgia, he is endorsing Herschel Walker, a former NFL player for the Senate race, but Walker hasn’t lived in Georgia in decades and has no political experience.

For Alabama, Trump has endorsed Mo Brooks, a conspiracy theorist who has claimed that COVID masks might cause cancer and is a staunch supporter of election fraud.

Senator Richerd C. Shelby, who will be retiring from the Alabama Senate seat, has endorsed Katie Britt, his former chief of staff. In response, Donald Trump-branded Shelby a RINO (Republican in name only) and an associate of “Old Crow Mitch McConnell” in a statement.

But all of this interfering poses a risk for Republicans, as his endorsements are frequently based on a candidate’s devotion to him rather than their electoral viability.

In Alaska, Trump is endorsing Kelly Tshibaka over incumbent GOP senator Lisa Murkowski, who has served three terms. 

He singles out Murkowski because she has challenged Trump multiple times. 

Trump is endorsing Ted Budd for state senator in North Carolina solely because he is a staunch supporter of the former president.

Seeing Trump’s endorsement, we can find a pattern. Anyone backing his old-fashioned election fraud claims and his conspiracies about different fields wins his endorsement. Being a Republican is now a matter of endorsing Trump’s behavior if only to win his endorsement back to reach the office.


Final Thoughts

A Trump endorsement is not only a matter of winning elections. As political donations are the crucial element of any election campaign, Trump-backed Republicans are seen to collect more money for their campaign.

A study showed that Trump’s endorsement help candidates win more donations compared to the non-endorsed candidates.

Now, when Republicans move towards the next elections, more Republicans bandwagoning him is a dangerous precedent that can encourage potential lawmakers to go bonkers just to win Trump’s endorsements.

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