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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Far right kills Republican support

Last Tuesday’s elections have highlighted problems that Republicans may face in the 2024 Presidential race. The party should be worried about alienating voters with their far-right policies.

Democrats excelled despite President Joe Biden’s currently abysmal approval ratings. Only 39% of American’s approve of the job he’s doing, which would typically signal hard losses for his party during off-year elections.

Nonetheless, Democrat Governor Andy Beshear held onto his position in the deep-red state of Kentucky, and the party won the majority in Virginia’s state legislature.

Rhode Island Democrats won a House special election, and Ohioans voted in favor of constitutional protections for abortion and to decriminalize recreational cannabis use.

Republicans failed in this election because they continue to associate themselves with the extreme-right. Even as GOP politicians try to appeal to moderates, the damage to their party has already been done by Republicans that are still loyal to regressive policies.

In the aftermath of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the decision that eliminated federal protections to receive an abortion, the right to choose has been a prominent issue in state-level elections. The extreme stance some Republicans have taken against it has not done them any favors, so many have walked back the idea of a nationwide abortion ban.

Republicans in Congress now say they believe the issue should be left up to the states to decide, but this is, in all likelihood, a way to do damage control in the wake of Dobbs.

Furthermore, voters looked for competency and experience in candidates this election and were disillusioned by the GOP’s inability to run an effective government.

In the past year, we saw two dramatic speaker elections that were prolonged by disunity among the House’s Republican majority.

Last January, it took 15 ballots to elect former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, because a radical segment of the Republican party including members of the Freedom Caucus and MAGA Squad, two factions that are loyal to Donald Trump, refused to support him.

These groups include representatives Matt Gaetz from Florida, who called women protesting the overturning of Roe v. Wade, over-educated and under-loved, and Lauren Boebert from Colorado, who says liberals are “grooming” youth and is avidly against the use of pronouns.

They felt as though McCarthy was unwilling to give them adequate representation and would stab them in the back if the time came.

Then, last month, the speaker was ousted from his position in a landmark vote led by Representative Gaetz and the MAGA Squad. The Floridian invoked a common MAGA motto, calling the former speaker a “creature of the swamp.”

They were angry that McCarthy had cooperated with Democrats to avoid a government shutdown, proving that these extremists in Congress put partisanship over running a functioning government.

Later in the month, the House faced another prolonged election of a new Speaker of the House, which settled on Mike Johnson, a Republican Congressperson from Louisiana whose bid was endorsed by Trump.

Johnson is undoubtably as conservative as they come and takes a hard stance against abortion and wants to limit funding to Ukraine. He is outspokenly religious and has a history of disapproval towards same-sex marriage.

Johnson is certainly not the person you want leading the Republicans in the House following the election we just saw. His intense social conservatism will be a massive deterrent to already disenfranchised moderate Republican voters.

The GOP has its work cut out for it if it intends to swing the direction of the party in a more moderate direction. Balance and sensibility are not represented among the popular choices for the Republican Presidential nominees.

Biden’s presently low approval ratings are a non-issue if Republicans continue to platform the far-right. The extremism and incompetency displayed by the party will surely cost them the Presidency in 2024.

This story was written by Joseph Schamber. He can be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Joseph Schamber
Joseph Schamber, Opinions Columnist
Joey Schamber is a first-year from Downers Grove, Illinois studying journalism and is an opinions columnist at the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire he enjoys cooking, drawing and skateboarding. He is excited to be writing stories and to be active in his community!

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