Former president Donald trumpDonald Trump Former Goldman Sachs Chief On Infrastructure Vote: ‘Progressives Blinked’ FIXED: Guardian op-ed says Trump is probably ‘Biden’s best hope for re-election’ Trump punches Senate Republicans , McConnell on the MORE infrastructure bill is scheduled to rally House Republicans in a Florida fundraiser on Monday, as the Republican Party shifts its gaze from off-year elections in Virginia, New Jersey and other states to its goal of regaining control of the Congress in 2022.
“I will be holding a panel discussion and speaking tonight at the annual Congressional Republican National Committee dinner in Tampa,” Trump said in a statement issued through his PAC leadership. “We hope to be there!”
The planned appearance at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) fundraising dinner in Tampa was first reported in September. But it comes on the heels of a series of Republican victories in state and local elections stretching from New Jersey to San Antonio.
In the Republican Party’s highest-profile victory of the year, Republican Glenn youngkinGlenn Youngkin CORRECTED: The Guardian op-ed says Trump is likely Biden’s ‘best hope for re-election’. defeated democrat Terry McAuliffeTerry McAuliffe CORRECTED: Guardian op-ed says Trump is likely Biden’s ‘best hope for re-election’. in the Virginia gubernatorial race, a big win for Republicans in a state that has leaned to the left for the past decade.
With those races in the rearview mirror, Republicans are turning their attention to the 2022 midterm elections. The party needs to win just five House seats and just one Senate seat to regain control of both houses, and the Democrats face historic headwinds in their effort to maintain their majorities in Congress.
Last week, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthy Democrats brace for a flood of retirements after Virginia’s defeat Democrats team up to send an infrastructure bill to Biden’s desk Good Republicans in government may be democracy’s last hope MORE (R-Calif.) He predicted that the Republican Party could win more than 60 House seats in 2022, pointing to Republican victories in Virginia and elsewhere as signs of an upcoming GOP election wave.
But Trump’s appearance at the NRCC fundraiser comes as some Republicans begin to debate his place in the Republican Party and how central he should be in the midterm elections.
Youngkin deviated from recent Republican orthodoxy throughout his campaign by taking a more passive approach toward Trump. While he accepted the former president’s endorsement, Youngkin never campaigned alongside him in Virginia and focused his general election campaign message on issues such as education and taxes.
In the New Jersey gubernatorial race, Republican Jack Ciattarelli used a similar tactic. Although he finally lost to the governor. Phil MurphyPhil Murphy CORRECTED: The Guardian op-ed says Trump is probably Biden’s’ best hope for re-election ‘Republican Senator: Republican candidates want Trump’s endorsement, but’ will win on issues’ Warner: Youngkin ‘stirred up the culture pot ‘on issues such as critical race theory MORE (D), the race was much closer than expected.
Some Republicans now see that the 2021 campaign in Virginia offers a potential plan for 2022, given how well Youngkin fared among undecided and suburban voters who became bitter with the Republican Party during Trump’s tenure in the White House.
Still, it seems unlikely that Trump will stay on the sidelines in 2022, a reality underscored by his appearance in Tampa on Monday night. Keith Naughton, a veteran Republican strategist, said that if Trump plays a major role in next year’s midterm elections, he could provide Democrats with a powerful line of attack.
“The problem for Republicans is what does Trump do?” Naughton told The Hill last week. “The second you mention a candidate or the second you hint that you are going to get involved in a race, the Democrats instantly amplify it.”