Stirewaltisms: A Weakened Trump Will Draw More Challenges 

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.)

I had been able to mostly avoid the pointless speculation about the upcoming Republican presidential nominating contest to this point by pointing out that we won’t know what the red team thinks about 2024 until we know what they think happened in 2022.

And here we are.

Note well that it’s a matter of perception, not empirical fact. Democrats in 2020 and Republicans in 2012 took the wrong lessons from largely unearned midterm wins the cycles beforehand and concluded that radicalism was popular, so we know it’s certainly possible. But so far, the party out of power seems to be learning the correct lesson from its midterm fizzle.

A trio of polls shows that Republicans are ready to move on from former President Donald Trump after his kooky preferred candidates and bad reputation with persuadable voters cost Republicans the Senate and maybe more than a dozen seats in the House. After Trump-fueled losses in 2018, 2020, and 2022, Republicans seem ready to finally kick the habit. 

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