Republicans are embarking on a primary season that is poised to reshape the GOP for a generation, and that journey begins in Texas.
In less than two weeks, the first primary election of 2022 will take place in the nation’s second-most populous state, and it’s a blockbuster: The state’s Republican governor, attorney general and agriculture commissioner all face spirited challenges, as do several GOP House incumbents.
From there, fractious primaries will unfold across the electoral map in the coming months, cementing a more populist orientation for the GOP and Donald Trump’s status as the party’s lodestar, or setting a more traditionally conservative course.
These aren’t simple match-ups between Trump and anti-Trump forces, or isolated intraparty feuds. Safely ensconced Republican officeholders are being bombarded by challengers from coast to coast, in many cases spurred on by Trump directly. Redistricting and retirements have further scrambled the established order in many places, opening up seats and drawing fields filled with combative candidates eager to move the party in a different direction. Combine that with high levels of energy — and anger — in the party base, and it’s a recipe to remake the party from the ground up. [Continue reading…]