It’s embedded deep into the movement’s rhetoric and political priorities.
It motivates their opposition to anti-discrimination provisions and their ongoing fear-mongering about the First Amendment rights of Christian schools.
Second, Democratic campaigns can overcome Trumpian identity politics and economic populism.
Third, the party’s national controversies don’t necessarily filter down to state politics (Donna Brazile did not cost anyone a seat tonight).
Ed Gillespie’s race-baiting waltz with the far-right didn’t make him governor.
It didn’t even help his party maintain its death grip on state legislature seats. Six months ago, during Virginia’s gubernatorial Democratic primary, many—myself very much included—worried that Northam, the state’s mild-mannered, moderate lieutenant governor, was out of step in a fevered post-Trump climate.
But that doesn’t mean that Republicans are going to start running different kinds of elections. And sure, Gillespie got routed in part because he decided to embrace Trump-ism.