Still, he added, “the difference between being a majority or a minority is decided in November. But politicians, understandably so, think of themselves first, and what’s good for me is good for the party.”
In Texas, a primary election last weekend in a suburban House district set up a confrontation between the two wings of the party. A Trump-backed Republican, Susan Wright, won nearly 20 percent of the vote, while Jake Ellzey, a Republican who has the endorsement of former Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, came in second place. The two candidates now advance to a runoff, and here’s the rub: All the district’s voters will be eligible to participate, not just Republicans.
In the Senate, most Republican lawmakers have done their best to look away from the 211-car pileup taking place in the House Republican Conference, and have mostly moved on from discussions of the 2020 election. But there’s far less willingness to do so among House Republicans, whose every-two-year election cycle keeps them in closer conversation with the party’s base.
And a flamboyant coterie of relatively young Republican lawmakers in the House has begun to emerge, led in part by Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, a frequent presence on Fox News and prominent Trump ally, who has helped put Stefanik in position for her ascent.
Just a month ago, Cheney seemed to have survived the attempt on her political life; her allies in the Wyoming state legislature beat back an effort to change election rules that would have imperiled her in the 2022 primary. The former Republican speakers Paul Ryan and John Boehner committed to helping her fund-raise.
Cheney had decided against a run for Senate last year because she saw an auspicious future in the House leadership, possibly even as speaker.
But now she finds herself at odds with a party whose leader is silent in the press but still a fan favorite among the party faithful. “A guy who got 47 percent is not the future of our party,” Comstock said, referring to Trump’s total in the 2020 election. “The toxic personality divided our country and is now dividing our party.”