Past criticism of Trump becomes potent weapon in GOP primaries

Half a dozen Republican operatives involved in top Senate races this year spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the internal considerations of dumping opposition research and the new litmus test that Trump represents for the voters they are trying to win over.

“This is oppo in 2022,” said one strategist involved in several top races this year. “Primaries are all about distinguishing your opponents. Everyone’s pro-Trump, pro-life, pro-Second Amendment. Or at least they pretend to be.”...

“Allegiance to Trump is the litmus test for Republican primary voters today. And a candidate who isn’t is no different than a pro-choice, anti-NRA Republican trying to win a GOP primary,” said one Republican strategist involved in the race, who asked for anonymity to be candid. “Unwavering support for President Trump has become one of the bedrocks of the Republican primary electorate.”