Former President Donald Trump is testing his clout with Republican voters, moving to reshape the GOP from the ground up with key endorsements in emerging 2022 congressional primaries.
On Wednesday, Trump waded into a competitive Republican primary for Senate in Alabama, backing Rep. Mo Brooks over Lynda Blanchard, a close ally whom he appointed as ambassador to Slovenia. Trump is popular in ruby-red Alabama — so much so that some GOP insiders in the state predicted his endorsement had won the primary for Brooks 13 months before the vote. Whether that forecast bears out will be revealing.
Given the former president’s presumed sway in Alabama, a Blanchard upset would signal that his influence with Republican voters post-White House is waning, casting doubt on his ability to refashion a GOP long dominated by traditional conservatives into an “America First” populist party. But at this early stage of the midterm election cycle, at least, Trump remains a powerful