COURTESY OF AP, BY: STEVE PEOPLES and SARAH RANKIN
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The national Republican Party in Washington is at war with itself, struggling to reconcile a bitter divide between former President Donald Trump’s fierce loyalists and those who want Trumpism purged from the GOP.
They need only look across the Potomac River into Virginia to see the dangers that lurk if they cannot correct course.
In just nine months, Virginia voters will elect a new governor in what marks the first significant test of the Republican Party’s strength in the post-Trump era.
Although the state had a Republican governor as recently as 2014, it has trended solidly Democratic in recent years as the suburban counties outside Washington, swelling in population with a diverse blend of highly educated, well-to-do voters, have rejected the harsher edges of the GOP agenda in general, and Trump, in particular.