Donald Trump had a difficult night on Tuesday.
All across the map, his endorsed candidates underperformed, losing elections or finishing with margins narrower than other Republicans. That no red wave materialized was interpreted as a repudiation of his hard-line politics. Questions quickly mounted about whether the party would — after three consecutive lackluster elections with him at the helm — move on from Trump as its standard bearer.
But even amid the fallout and recriminations, Republicans critical of the former president were resigning themselves to another reality: they may be stuck with Trump anyway in 2024.
“We tend to be slow learners,” said Steve Duprey, the former Republican national committeeman from New Hampshire and longtime former state chair in the first-in-the-nation primary state.
“There are lessons here,” he added. “If you look around the country, given the inflation, given the economic uncertainty, given the war in Ukraine, given the disastrous pullout from Afghanistan, it should have been a strong red wave. That it wasn’t… is a great warning shot to the Republican Party that it is time for new ideas and definitely new messaging.”
Ever since the Access Hollywood tape and continuing through his loss in 2020 and