Battleground Republicans Unload On Trump Ahead Of 2024 Announcement

US President Donald Trump points to former communications director Hope Hicks shortly before making his way to board Marine One on the South Lawn and departing from the White House on March 29, 2018. - Trump is visiting Ohio to speak on infrastructure development before heading to Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mandel NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

At a glance

  • Republicans in battleground states and elsewhere — bruised by sweeping losses for a third straight election — are casting blame in a direction they were once reluctant to point: toward former President Donald Trump.
  • “Personalities come and go,” said Dave Ball, the GOP chair in Pennsylvania’s Washington County, who has supported and defended Trump. “Sometimes you have overstayed your welcome. You’ve got new people, new faces come, and you have to change with the times sometimes.”
  • In interviews, more than two dozen state GOP leaders, elected officials and operatives said Trump’s heavy involvement in midterm contests up and down the ballot doomed them in swing states, leaving intact the Democrats’ blue wall in Pennsylvania and the industrial Midwest and costing them a winnable Senate seat in Nevada.
  • Trump loomed large in the minds of voters, exit polls showed, and in many key races, voters rejected his hand-picked candidates.

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