‘We just have to limit the damage that he’s causing’: Republican governor on


WASHINGTON (AP) — This time last year, the Republican Party was hitting bottom. Having already lost the presidency and House, the GOP would soon squander its Senate majority and watch with horror as thousands of Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in a violent attack last Jan. 6 that will be forever linked to the Republican president’s legacy.

What a difference 12 months make. Entering a pivotal election year, a resurgent GOP appears poised to reclaim one chamber, or even both chambers, of Congress and retain its lock on dozens of state legislatures and governor’s offices.

While victory is far from assured, the GOP’s confidence is fueled by President Joe Biden’s underwhelming poll numbers, a Democratic economic and social agenda that’s , intensifying concerns about inflation, and deepening frustration with the pandemic, which is unleashing yet another wave of infections upon an exhausted nation.

‘Every state that Biden won by less than 10 is now a battleground state.’


— Sen. Rick Scott, a Republican from Florida

But at its most basic level, the Republican Party’s optimism is born of the same political headwinds that have shaped U.S. politics for decades. The party that controls the White House — Democrats, in this case — has a tremendous disadvantage in the first election of a new presidency. Adding to that challenge, Democrats are struggling to prevent a far-reaching Republican campaign to make voting more difficult for core Democratic constituents while installing a slate of election officials allied with Trump.

From the archives (August 2021): House Democrats call on McCarthy to apologize for remark about hitting Pelosi

GOP leaders are brimming with confidence.

“We’re going to have a hell of a year,” said Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, who leads the national GOP’s Senate campaign arm. “Every state that Biden won by less than 10 is now a battleground state.”

From the archives (January 2021): Kevin McCarthy becomes poster boy for Republicans walking back their recent Trump criticism

President Joe Biden, speaking by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin from his residence in Wilmington, Del., has seen his average approval rating decline from the mid-50s as recently as June, to the mid-40s since August.


Adam Schultz/White House/AP

Lest there be any doubt, Republicans dominated the off-year elections…



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