But a look at the statistics reveals that Republicans may be playing it right when it comes to Trump.
Comparing the results in those elections to the 2020 presidential election in those districts, we see that there hasn’t been much movement on the whole.
Examining all special elections where at least one Democrat and one Republican ran, Republicans are outperforming their 2020 baseline by 3 points on average. Not counting those elections with multiple Democrats or Republicans running (i.e. jungle primaries) or with a major independent candidate, Republicans are matching their 2020 position.
Keep in mind that even a small tick toward the Republicans would have resulted in a very different outcome in 2020. Biden won the state that put him over the top in the Electoral College (Wisconsin) by less than a point. Republicans were just 5 seats away from getting a House majority and a mere 1 seat from earning a Senate majority.
They don’t need a lot of things to change to win back the House or the Senate in 2022.
Republicans only need their 2020 base and a little more.
We also know from the Pew polling that nearly two-thirds of Republicans don’t want the party to be accepting of elected officials who voted to impeach Trump.
The best case scenario for Republicans is to turn out his voters, while trying to keep Trump out of the limelight.
Right now, it could be argued they’re doing exactly that.