Donald Trump has been the leader of the Republican Party for seven years, ever since he secured the presidential nomination in 2016. In that time, he convinced almost all Republicans to support him and his policies. But now, Republicans around the country who supported him in 2016 and 2020 believe that once again, the party needs new leadership, and it’s time for Trump to stand aside.
Each of the Trump voters who has lent their voice to Baggage-Free GOP has their own reasons for wanting to move on. Some point to the Republican Party’s underperformance in the 2018, 2020, and 2022 elections. Others point to Trump’s broken campaign promises, or point out that a different nominee could serve eight years as president rather than just four. Most have made a cold, hard calculation: Trump can’t win. He just has too much baggage.
Trump inspires more and fiercer opposition than any other Republican, as evidenced by the Republican Party’s underperformance in recent elections. It’s not just Democrats and liberals to object to Trump—moderates and independents, who Republicans must win over to win elections, are alienated by Trump’s demeanor. Some even fear that Trump is driving independents away not just from himself, but from the Republican Party for years to come.
Unlike other Republican presidential candidates, Trump also faces mounting legal challenges, including as many as four simultaneous criminal trials in the months leading up to the general election, when the Republican nominee should be offering the American people an alternative to the Democrats and Joe Biden. Trump can’t do that if he has to spend all his time in court.
This primary election season presents Republicans with an opportunity to choose the candidate they think best represents their concerns and values—and can win. It’s time for the GOP to drop Trump’s baggage.