Tuesday’s primaries in Virginia, North Dakota, Nevada, South Carolina, and Maine indicated that in many congressional races, vehemently attacking President Trump will not be a winning strategy for either Democrats or Republicans in the Nov. 6 general election.
As we’ve seen in earlier primaries this year, it was clear Tuesday that while strongly resisting President Trump is certainly damaging to Democrats, doing so is nothing short of catastrophic for Republicans. GOP voters in several races showed once again that they are rejecting lawmakers who decisively break with the president.
Instead of building their campaigns on being anti-Trump, candidates in both parties would be wise to develop compelling moderate policy alternatives and a unifying message that can appeal to centrist and independent voters.
The most prominent Trump critic to go down to defeat in the Tuesday primaries was Republican Rep. Mark Sanford in South Carolina’s 1st District. Sanford lost his GOP primary for another term in the House to state Rep. Katie Arrington, a strong supporter and defender of the president.