The major problem is the kind of conservatives who would win elections are incongruent with the kind of conservatives who win primaries. Glen Youngkin (another good example of how a conservative can win) only got nominated because Virginia has a unique system.

This is a problem of the GOP’s own making, and I don’t really see a good way out unless someone other than DeSantis or Trump wins the primary AND goes on to win in 2024, which is a long shot on both counts.

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DeSantis as "jerk" seems more an alternate reality narrative spread by Democrats than much that's observable though. Many people contorted themselves in knots to be outraged by the Martha's Vineyard thing, which has otherwise completely disappeared from the cycle. And his positive vision is of a successful FL and he does make positive cases for his education reforms by focusing on literacy and math. He hasn't even taken the angry, bitter bait from Trump. Long story short is that the same people insisting he's a jerk were pre-ordained to always hate him, so it's easier to make up reasons.

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I have to laugh. In discussing 2024 with my father a month or so ago, the first name out of my mouth for a Republican that would make sense if the party wanted to tack away from Trump was Scott. I just don't see the base of the party really getting behind him, though.

On a separate matter, I did want to go into is the evangelical politics matter. Arguably, the Trump years gave them a foothold they lacked in prior administrations. They likely think that January 2017-2021 was extremely successful given the longer term results we've seen so far (and are likely to continue seeing from the current Supreme Court makeup).

I wouldn't expect them to go quietly into the night, regardless of shrinking religious participation. I suspect they'll still seek their pound of flesh quite fervently, looking to entrench their progress from the Trump years.

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This dovetails nicely with Josh's recurring cry of "have you noticed that Joe Biden might actually be good at politics?"

Being a candidate that turns off moderates and hypes up your opposition is bad, actually! T-shirt salesmen at Trump rallies have said they couldn't move anti-Biden merch the way they moved anti-Hilary merch.

Republican primary voters oughta learn a lesson from the candidate who won, not the one who lost.

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I oughtn't to intrude on an intra-Dem convo - but do you have to be really likeable, or just more likeable than Kamala Harris?

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Perhaps Yglesias would counter this argument by saying public attention to a highly political and highly public deficit argument would reduce the likelihood of productive compromise on the issue. Takes away the maneuvering room necessary for Secret Congress(TM) to work out a deal.

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And Democrats keep propping them up. It's hard to take this "problem" seriously when the Democrats are really just pretending it's a problem.


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It seems to me the point about "we the voter" is being missed here.

Why are we voting in for these wingnuts .... on both sides.

What are we not getting from our government that we are electing these extremists?

Gaetz, Taylor-Green, AOC, Bush (by the way, I'm from Missouri, your welcome!)

Shouldn't we look more at us?

They are just doing what we sent them there to do .... represent our displeasure and extreme positions.

The general theme seems to be more elected official is the good one .... yours is bad.

Fix yours ....

When that goes on everywhere we get the mess we deserve.

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Youngkin, Sununu, Haley, possibly Kemp and Hogan, even Pence will all present “sunny” versions of conservatism in the GOP primary.

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