GOP Plans for Midterms and 2024 at CPAC Gathering

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post

The Facts

  • The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) assembled in Orlando, FL last week for four days of meetings on the future of the conservative movement under the banner "Awake, Not Woke."

  • The meeting came as some within the GOP worry that the party risks squandering potentially favorable conditions in the 2022 midterms by focusing on Trump's claims of 2020 election fraud.


The Spin

Pro-Trump narrative

Despite all the hand-wringing, Trump proved he's still the most popular and influential politician in the GOP, as he easily prevailed in the anonymous CPAC straw poll by capturing a resounding 59% of ballots. Ron DeSantis was a distant second at 28%, demonstrating once again that Trump is the unchallenged leader of the GOP.

Republican narrative

DeSantis clearly sees himself as a viable candidate for 2024, and his energy, confidence and political track record make him more than qualified. He could still turn out to be a Trump alternative or challenger, especially if the CPAC straw poll isn't reflected in future Republican polling.

Democratic narrative

The CPAC attendees are two-faced and hypocritical. As Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine and upset the post-WWII world order, Republicans gathered to cheer for Donald Trump, who praises Putin as a "genius" while attacking Biden and defending his own corrupt attempt to coerce Ukrainian President Zelensky into producing "dirt" on his political opponent in 2019.


Establishment split

CRITICAL

PRO

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