Trump may poison the party, but Republicans have decided they need him

Trump’s stranglehold on the GOP is due to a variety of factors. Chief among them is what has happened to the party when he is not fully on board with it. The day before the Capitol riots, Republicans lost two critical Senate seats in Georgia. And, looking back, party operatives lay almost all the blame on Trump for putting far more energy into questioning his own election result in the state than in boosting the two down ballot candidates.

“In Georgia there is no question — and no one should say otherwise — he is the reason we lost,” said one GOP official. “I’ve never been more confident in a post-election analysis.”

Trump’s advisers say the former president will be active in the upcoming midterm races. And, for that reason, some Republicans praised efforts to afford him a voice and ensure that his supporters still feel at home in the GOP.

“We’ve got to be neutral and we have rules that require us to be neutral. But by the same token, we wouldn’t be smart if we discounted those 74 million votes,” said Barnett, referring to the number of votes that were cast for Trump in November.