Why the GOP isn't rebranding after 2020

Historically, parties have done more self-reflection and been more likely to change course when they’ve hit electoral low points. In the 1988 presidential race, Democrats carried only 10 states and Washington, D.C., and that loss was their third consecutive failed bid for the White House. In 2008, Obama won the popular vote by 7 percentage points — Republicans didn’t even carry Indiana. So of course the parties were ready to rethink things after those defeats.

In contrast, Trump would have won reelection had he done only about 1 percentage point better in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and about 3 points better in Michigan. Republicans would still control the Senate had Republican David Perdue won about 60,000 more votes (out of nearly 4.5 million cast) against Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s Senate runoff. A slew of court rulings that forced the redrawing of House district lines in less favorable ways to the GOP helped the Democrats win several seats — otherwise, Republicans might have won back the House. Add all that up, and 2020 wasn’t that far from resulting in a Republican trifecta.

Also, Republicans did really well in state legislative races and gained ground among Black and Latino voters nationally (while still losing substantially among both groups).

Considering the GOP’s decent showing last year, it makes sense that Republicans aren’t rethinking their party’s future.