Republicans Can Win Without Trump as Their Mascot | Opinion

The following is a lightly edited transcript of remarks made by Amani Wells-Onyioha during a Newsweek Debate about the outcome of the 2022 US Elections. You can listen to the podcast here:

There are indications that Trump may not have that strong level of reign as he used to, and there's indications that there are some Republicans who wanted to go back to being Republicans. A lot of the more extreme rhetoric isn't really helping the party and I think that may be something that's starting to put a flare up in conservative minds as they realize that they can still win and not have this guy be their mascot anymore.

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Former US President Donald Trump speaks to the media while departing a polling station after voting in the US midterm elections at Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 8, 2022. EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP/Getty Images

What we're seeing on both sides is people want candidates that they feel like personally care about them and the issues in their lives. And I feel like that's why a lot of them are clinging to more extreme candidates and that more populist type of posturing because it makes it seem like "I'm one of the guys, I'm just like you, these gas prices suck" it's more of a relatable feeling that they're looking for. For old school Republicans and a lot of the establishment Democrats it's just very "I'm so up here, I have let me put in my tie, straighten myself up, dust myself off." No one wants to be spoken down to no matter what party they affiliate with. And I think that's why we see some of those candidates doing so.

It's a huge win for DeSantis and I think the voters and the party itself knows that he's like their next shining star. He's a younger, hip, fresh version of Trump and a bit more competent than Trump and I think the party will enjoy that. The base will think that a lot of their agenda will get done better and there won't be so many antics and shenanigans surrounding him all the time that distract from what they're trying to do. So, it will be interesting to see if Trump and gracefully bows out, but I doubt it.

Amani Wells-Onyioha is a political organizer and Director of Operations at Sole Strategies.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.