In a week when President Biden declared his candidacy for re-election and Republicans appeared to be resigned to Donald Trump once again being the party’s presidential nominee, it was simple to overlook the larger political picture.
Yes, but: If you look past the most sensational headlines, Republicans demonstrated definite signs of momentum, as evidenced by their surprising unity on Capitol Hill, their success in recruiting senators, and polls that show Trump and Biden running head-to-head.
Bringing you the news Republicans benefited this week from three significant developments:
Against expectations, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy held his unwieldy caucus together for legislation that would raise the debt ceiling and cut federal spending. By holding the party line, he tests the White House’s position not to negotiate over the debt ceiling.
Senate Republicans landed an A-list recruit, popular West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, to run against Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).
Early polling shows Justice leading Manchin in a pivotal race for Republican efforts to take back the Senate majority. Justice will still need to win a contested GOP primary against Rep. Alex Mooney to get to the general election.
Manchin’s statement reacting to the governor’s announcement fueled speculation that he would retire or pursue a third-party presidential campaign. “Make no mistake, I will win any race I enter,” Manchin said.