Trumpism without Trump

Even as dozens of Democrats in suburban districts across the country swept into the House of Representatives, replacing Republican congressmen in this year’s midterms, GOP candidates managed to unseat vulnerable Democratic senators in four states Donald Trump won two years ago.

Longtime businessman Mike Braun in Indiana and GOP representative Kevin Cramer in North Dakota were two of those victorious Republican challengers, and their successful campaigns suggest that it is possible to capitalize on the most appealing aspects of Trump and his populist agenda without featuring the man himself on the ballot.

Since Trump’s entrance into politics, lawmakers and commentators — especially the former businessman’s most fervent supporters — have argued that his popularity with some working-class voters and his resultant electoral success were closely tied to his personal attributes and couldn’t be separated from him or transferred to other Republicans.