CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - With President Donald Trump acknowledging president-elect Joe Biden’s victory, NBC29 took a deeper look at the state of the Republican Party.
“I think the party is relatively divided, and I think that’s what happens, usually, when a party loses the White House,” University of Virginia Center for Politics Director of Communications Kyle Kondik said.
There’s still many questions circulating how often Trump with be in the national light once leaving office.
“Once the president is a private citizen again, how much oxygen is he going to take up in the national conversation?” Kondik asked.
He says that question, in particular, could play a big role in Virginia elections next November.
“The president, overall, is not popular in Virginia,” Kondik said. “I think that Republicans would be better off if the soon-to-be former president is not, kind of, dominating the headlines next November.”
Two former-5th District representatives see the turmoil in the GOP.
“Let’s go back to policies and ideas,” Denver Riggleman (R) said. “Let’s go back to treating people correctly. Let’s stop these theories of dehumanization - many of them rooted in anti-Semitism - and let’s make sure that we act as Americans, based on the constitutional principles that we have.”
“There’s obviously going to be a continued battle within the Republican Party between the adults in the room, between those who actually believe in the U.S. Constitution and those who do not,” Tom Perriello (D) said.
Kondik says the division within the Republican Party could lead to a lack of success for its members next November: “If the Republicans... if they lean into Trump, they lose people in the suburbs. So in Virginia, we’re talking about the greater-Richmond area, in parts of Northern Virginia, parts of Hampton Roads,” he said.
But going moderate also risks losing support among those who voted for Trump, too: “Some of the hardcore Trump folks might not turn out, and so that’s the push-and-pull that Republicans have to deal with. And, you know, that’s something that’s going to be tested by the these races coming up in Virginia this November,” Kondik said.