If Trump was so great politically for the GOP, why is it now out of power?

That’s the cold GOP reality as the former President seeks to dominate the party from exile and tease a 2024 comeback. Mr. Trump boasted about his record vote total for an incumbent President, and he took credit for every GOP success down the ballot in 2020. His estimable polling advisers, John and Jim McLaughlin, made the same case in our Letters column on Monday.

We welcome the debate, but if 2020 was so fabulous, why are Republicans shut out of power up and down Pennsylvania Avenue? They have zero influence over the $1.9 trillion spending extravaganza they rightly deplore. Democrats are slowly erasing the Trump legacy on taxes, deregulation, energy, education, and so much more.

This didn’t have to happen. Incumbent presidential races are typically consolidating elections as the party in power reinforces gains from four years earlier. The Trump years are a rare exception, as Mr. Trump never reached a job approval rating above 50% despite his policy achievements. The public dislike is personal.