Published June 7, 2022
Donald Trump took a body blow when Georgia Republicans decisively rejected his endorsed candidates in a panoply of Peach State races two weeks ago. Now, the pugnacious former president is punching back by endorsing little-known outsiders in races in Arizona and Wisconsin. Losing those risky bets would likely fatally damage the idea that he is an all-powerful figure and endanger his chances of winning the party’s 2024 presidential nomination.
It wasn’t long ago that Trump’s endorsement was viewed as the golden ticket in Republican politics. Candidates flocked to his seaside estate at Mar-a-Lago to lobby the man for his support. His embrace, they thought, could make or break them.
Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.