In 2020, many on the right had modest hopes for President Biden.
The hope hinged on the not implausible theory that he would govern as a centrist because that’s how he campaigned. Biden did markedly better than Hillary Clinton’s 2016 performance with Republican-friendly constituencies. Indeed, 7% of 2016 Republican Trump voters defected to Biden in 2020. Even Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., caught on hidden camera, admitted that Trump-hostile Republicans delivered Wisconsin to Biden, even as they voted for other Republicans on the ballot.
After Biden won, the evenly split Senate and a House with a very small Democratic margin, combined with widespread disgust with Trump’s post-election schemes, raised hopes for Biden’s centrism. Some even argued that disaffected Republicans should essentially join the Democratic Party.
Fast-forward several months. Biden has not governed from the center. If you think he has, great. We can argue about that another time. But going by the polls and focus groups, a lot of right-of-center voters don’t see it that way. Which is why Democrats are facing a midterm bloodbath.
Moreover, most elected Republicans no longer denounce Trump’s election lies; they refuse to tell the truth about Biden’s victory. Worse yet, the GOP establishment is turning a blind eye to state-level efforts to pave the way for Trump to circumvent the popular vote should he run in 2024.