GOP Leaders Sprint Right Before Election

( Many Republican governors are seeking re-election later this year in the midterms, and a strategy they’ve been taking in the months leading up to November is moving further and further to the right.
In a way, it’s a major sign that former President Donald Trump is still extremely influential in politics, even though he doesn’t hold any official political office. Those governors who are shifting further to the right are publicly embracing a lot of the policies, tones and initiatives that Trump has been touting for years now.
As media outlet The Hill pointed out recently, many of these governors who are shifting to be more conservative could be doing so in an effort to separate themselves from more moderate candidates in their own party who are looking to take them down in the primary.
Then, they feel they’ll be better prepared in a general election. Some of these governors will face their biggest challenges in the primary, after all, since they’re in states that are historically very conservative leaning.
There are many examples of this happening around the country.
In Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp — who has actually drawn the ire of Trump on many occasions — signed new laws that ban transgender girls from participating in high school sports, eliminate requirements for permits for people who want to carry a concealed weapon, and control how schools are able to teach about gender and race.
In Oklahoma, Governor Kevin Stitt recently signed a new law that outlaws doctors performing abortions. The only exception provided under the law is for medical emergencies.
And in Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey has taken a much more vocal stance than she normally does. Her initial campaign ads take direct aim at some of Trump’s biggest targets.
In her first ad, Ivey says:
“The fake news, big tech and blue state liberals stole the election from President Trump. But, here in Alabama, we’re making sure that never happens. The left is probably offended. So be it.”
There’s one major thing that unites these three incumbent governors — they are facing potentially huge primary challenges from candidates within the GOP.
David Perdue, a former U.S. senator, is aiming to unseat Kemp in Georgia, and he’s already received an endorsement from Trump.
Stitt is being targeted by two different conservative groups that are spending money to attack him. Just this week, Joel Kintsel, who was the former director of Veterans Affairs in Oklahoma, launched a bid to run against Stitt. In doing so, he accused the incumbent governor and his administration of “corruption, self-dealing and cronyism.”
Ivey is facing a challenge from another businesswoman in Alabama, Lindy Blanchard, who served as the ambassador to Slovenia under Trump. She’s also already spent a lot of her personal money to attack Ivey in the media.
Other incumbent governors who in past years might’ve coasted on their way to re-nomination face tough challenges. That includes Mike Dunleavy of Alaska, Mike DeWine of Ohio and Mark Gordon of Wyoming.
These people are all favored to not just emerge as the Republican candidate for governor but win another term. But, they are all making moves that show they are at least worried about Trump’s influence on their potential for success.