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Daniel Strauss and Tom McCarthy write for us this morning on the Republican members of the Senate and the House who are being targeted by the their state parties for insufficient loyalty to Donald Trump:
Some state parties have hit out at Republican senators for voting to convict Trump in his impeachment trial. Others have taken steps to reaffirm their loyalty to Trump in the aftermath of his re-election campaign loss, as other prominent Republicans look to assume larger roles at the head of the party.
Republicans are divided on whether these moves are a good idea. Some argue that Trump is still the key conduit to grassroots support within the Republican party. Others say these fights distract from what Republicans need to do to win elections with the broader electorate.
“Some of the actions by state parties – Arizona and Oregon come to mind – are just not helpful to winning elections,” said Henry Barbour, a Republican National Committee member from Mississippi.
The most recent such move came from the North Carolina Republican party which censured the state’s senior senator, Richard Burr, for voting to convict Trump at his impeachment trial. Burr joined six other Republicans and every Senate Democrat in voting for conviction. That vote failed to pass the two-thirds threshold needed to convict the former president.
Even though it was unsuccessful, the impeachment vote inflamed intra-party tensions between those who remain steadfastly loyal to Trump and those who are tired of having to swear fealty to the one-term president or feel he was guilty of inciting the mob riot at the United States Capitol on 6 January.
In Louisiana, the state party censured Senator Bill Cassidy for voting to impeach Trump. The chair of the Louisiana Republican Caucus also warned Cassidy to not “expect a warm welcome when you come home to Louisiana”. In Alaska, local Republican party chapters have voted to censure Senator Lisa Murkowski. In Nebraska, Senator Ben Sasse has been slapped with local party censures and the state party is poised to vote on censuring him during a meeting in March.
Other senators are facing the possibility of censures as well, such as the retiring Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania and Susan Collins in Maine. Some Republicans in Utah want to censure Senator Mitt Romney as well. The censures are largely symbolic, but they underscore the deep divide between the Republican political infantry and some of its elite.
Read more of Daniel Strauss and Tom McCarthy’s analysis here: Republicans failing to toe the Trumpist line feel wrath of their state parties
Source: The Guardian
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