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History As It Happens

Jun 20, 2023

The Republican Party’s disappointing showing in the midterm elections renewed grumbling that former president Donald Trump was a drag on the party. After all, the GOP might have won back the Senate had it not been for the inept campaigns of Trump-preferred candidates such as Herschel Walker. But Mr. Trump’s popularity somehow survived. Eight months later, following his second indictment on felony charges, Mr. Trump seems to be again defying the conventional political wisdom, or what remains of it since 2016. No matter what he does or says or is accused of, polls indicate the former president’s popularity among Republicans remains steadfast. In this episode, political journalist Damon Linker of "Notes From the Middleground" on Substack revisits the question of whether Trumpism is on the decline. At this point, the answer is clearly no. Why has Trump succeeded where past right-wing populists like Pat Buchanan or George Wallace failed?