As Democrats and Republicans ready themselves for 2022 midterm elections, some GOP congressmembers are facing a steeper-than-usual uphill battle, despite consistently-conservative voting records and reports of caucus-wide respect. The punishing variable? Criticism of former President Donald Trump, however slight.
Texas Rep. Chip Roy, a Republican with values largely in touch with his GOP base, denounces President Biden's administration every chance he gets. He supported the recent outster of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from her position in House leadership, and decries the Equality Act. Yet he may still lose primary support among voters following his Jan. 6 vote to certify the 2020 election results, a move he himself called his "political death warrant," per a National Review article published Monday. Although Roy is still a midterm favorite, the idea that a lawmaker who deeply condemned Trump (but did not vote to impeach him) remains susceptible to the ex-president's lingering wrath represents a new trend within the party.
In South Carolina, Rep. Tom Rice (R), a strong supporter of Trump and his agenda, faces similar concerns after surprisingly voting to impeach the former president following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Rice called Trump's actions that day "completely despicable," adding that he will "vote that way every single time," reports The Washington Post.
Previously, however, Rice supported the U.S.-Mexico border wall, helped draft what became the 2017 tax cut legislation and defended Trump during his first impeachment trial. But that still might not be enough to save him, writes the Post. Said South Carolina voter Keith Allen: "I'm behind [Rice] 100 percent. But there are people that won't forgive him for [voting to impeach Trump] in our community."