Are Republicans Tired of All the Losing? - WSJ Editorial
Democrats are buoyant about their Tuesday night election showing, and why not? They handed Republicans another drubbing with their twin issue set of abortion rights and fear and loathing of the MAGAGOP. Republicans have a brand perception problem.
Well YEAH. A Party of election denying, insurrection supporting, conspiracy theory mongering, junk science spewing, authoritarian wannabe theocrats IS kind of a shitty look.
Abortion was also important in Kentucky, where Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear cruised to re-election in a state Mr. Trump carried by more than 25 points in 2020. Gov. Beshear styles himself as a moderate, and he ran ads suggesting the GOP would force rape survivors to give birth to their attacker’s children.
Republican candidate Daniel Cameron offered inconsistent answers about which abortion exceptions he’d support, in a high-wire act of trying to placate different parts of the electorate. He also touted Mr. Trump’s endorsement to win the GOP primary, but Mr. Beshear used that to peel away non-MAGA GOP voters.
The sobering message for Republicans is that they’re losing on abortion, and the choices are unpalatable compromises or more nights in the political wilderness. The results suggest that the GOP’s Nikki Haley, who has said that a federal 15-week limit on abortion is political fantasy, is right if the GOP is going to win among suburbanites and independents.
But elections, not polls, are the measure of political success, and Republicans have the bigger problem. Mr. Trump’s partisans often claim he is realigning the party to include more working-class voters.
That’s true, but so far that has been more than offset by the flight of moderates and suburban women from the GOP. Republicans lost or did worse than expected in 2018, 2020, 2022 and again in 2023. That won’t change until Republican voters finally get tired of all the losing.