Trump leaves GOP with an identity crisis. First test: Virginia

Amanda Chase likes to be known as “Trump in heels.” She spoke at the pro-Trump rally in Washington before the crowd turned into a violent mob at the Capitol. For her social media posts calling the insurrectionists “patriots” and making other false claims, she has been blocked on Facebook, stripped of her committee assignment in Virginia’s state Senate and threatened with censure.

She’s also a prominent Republican candidate for Virginia governor this year, and the GOP establishment in the Democratic-leaning state is worried. Chase personifies a political risk that looms for the entire GOP in the post-Trump era: If the party’s voters continue to be in thrall to the former president, they may nominate candidates too Trumpy to win in swing states…

Anti-Chase Republicans — even some who are former President Trump’s allies — worry that her nomination would sink the party’s chances, including for down-ballot candidates, this year and into the future.

“There is no way that Amanda Chase is going to be the governor of Virginia,” John Fredericks, a conservative radio host, said on a recent show. “She has zero chance of winning.”