Republicans Want Trump Agenda Without Trump | Opinion

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

There is a bit of a paradox here because who is the most Trump like candidate in the conservative pantheon of candidates? It's Ron DeSantis. So, setting aside the sort of more recent spanning between the two of them, Ron DeSantis, has almost molded his political career off a Trump like posture toward a whole range of issues. He is a populist. He's not a Republican in the old Mitt Romney, Mitch McConnell type of mold of establishment Republicans. He's a right-wing populist Republican, and he represents a big and growing part of the party. And look at the new voters that he was able to bring in. Miami Dade County is 70% Hispanic and he wanted by large margin. This is this was a county that Hillary Clinton I think won by more than 20 points in 2016.

trump more votes desantis
Ron DeSantis sits next to Donald Trump during a meeting with Governors elects in the Cabinet Room at the White House on December 13, 2018 in Washington, DC. Trump has claimed he achieved more votes in Florida in 2020 that the Governor did in the 2022 midterm election. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

There's a huge number of new voters that are coming into the party and the responding to a more populist message. So, it's not as it's neat as saying Republicans have rejected the Maga or the populist posture. I don't think that that's true. What I'm hearing is that a lot of people who are Trump supporters who liked Trump, they don't really want to say it out loud. But they would like to move on from Trump and keep Trump's agenda, but just not with Trump.

There certainly is going to be some reassessment among the donor class, and I think among elected Republicans as well. So, the results of this midterm were good for DeSantis. They were bad for Trump, and they were also I would argue bad for Biden in a way. In some ways Democrats would have been better off if they had been hit with a red wave. Looking ahead to 2024 As it stands, even if Republicans win a majority in the House, they won't really be able to do anything except block, which is all they have been able to do for the past two years.

Daniel Davidson is Senior Editor at The Federalist

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