State party chairs are tearing into their governors. Elected officials are knifing one another in the back. Failed candidates are seizing on Trump’s rhetoric to claim they were also victims of voter fraud in at least a half dozen states.
As his presidency comes to a close, Trump has not only imprinted his smash-mouth style on the GOP, he has wrenched open the schism between the activist class and the elected class, according to interviews with more than a dozen Republican Party officials and strategists in the states.
“This is Hatfield and McCoy stuff, but it’s McCoy on McCoy, or Hatfield on Hatfield,” said Michael Brodkorb, a former deputy chair of the Minnesota Republican Party. “To see activists across the country really just with pitchforks and torches at the capitols … it’s just bonkers.”…
“If people for the next two or three years view Trump as having 60 or 70 million votes, it’s going to be hard to say no to him,” Barker said, fearful that Trump or Trumpian candidates will maintain a hold on the party. In response, members of Barker’s group are weighing whether to begin recruiting Republican-minded independents to run in Arizona if Trump-oriented candidates clog the Republican Party field.