A battle for the GOP’s future is under way

| Dec 22, 2021

America’s Republican party is on a winning streak. Its congressional candidates recently claimed the largest lead recorded in 40 years of polling by ABC News and the Washington Post. In Virginia, a state that has trended steadily leftward, a slate of conservative candidates triumphed in November. Internally, though, the GOP has just begun grappling with the revisions its agenda will require, if and when its momentum yields governing power.

For some on the right, recent successes prove that the GOP has found its post-Trump footing. Glenn Youngkin led the Carlyle Group before campaigning in a McKinsey-style fleece vest. Now he is Virginia’s governor-elect. From this perspective, there may be no need to address party weaknesses exposed by Donald Trump, or develop a conservative agenda to help today’s working families. Perhaps the standard issue anti-tax, tough-on-crime, country-club Republican of the past can win the future by incorporating a more aggressive tone on cultural issues and exploiting Democratic incompetence.

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Oren Cass is the executive director at American Compass.