Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan sat down with the Daily Caller News Foundation to discuss the growing populist sentiments occurring within the Republican party and how the shift may affect the 2022 midterm elections.
For Jordan, the future of the GOP lies in embracing a more populist form of conservatism, which focuses on hyper-nationalism, deep skepticism of elites, and a deep distrust of the government. Jordan applauded the transition in the party and credited former President Trump for being the “catalyst” of the change.
“We are now a populist party rooted in conservative principle,” Jordan told the DCNF. “And I think that’s a good thing.”
Jordan said that the GOP has become the party of the working man, the average American, and those not represented by the “coastal elite.” He also said the move is essential to minimize the growing leftist threat in politics and culture nationwide.
Right-leaning populists make up 23% of Republicans, making them a growing sect in the GOP, according to a poll conducted by Pew Research. Populists support traditional conservative values, like tougher policies on illegal immigration, but tend to hold different values on issues such as taxes on corporations.
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However, this shift could open the door to more government intervention in certain areas that traditional conservatives normally would reject, including the recent push to permanently ban abortion at the federal level and using Congress to undercut “big tech” in the name of creating an environment for free speech.
“Because it’s populist, well yeah, then there is a little more government than we would traditionally like as conservatives who were [like] Buckley or Reagan… and that is the modern Republican party,” Jordan said.
When asked why Republican candidates who are embracing this new realignment were underperforming in their polling and fundraising, he seemed to dodge the question, instead emphasizing that most GOP candidates will win in November. He argued that with the election 100 days away, it was too hard to predict the outcome coupled with general disdain towards Democrats and their policies.
Despite failing to acknowledge the current shortcomings of GOP senatorial candidates, Jordan did warn Republicans “not to take anything for granted.” He argued that even though it appears 2022 will be a good year for the party, they need to work hard in their campaign efforts to remind voters of the Democrats’ shortcomings.
Ohio Republican senatorial candidate J.D. Vance has campaigned on this new form of populist conservatism, but its success in a general election remains to be seen. Polling and fundraising data has shown that the “populist conservative” Vance trails far behind his Democratic competitor, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan.
Ryan has raised over $15 million in a state that Trump won by 8 points in the last two presidential elections, leaving many GOP insiders concerned.
Jordan asserted that if the GOP is to take back the House they would focus on passing legislation regarding energy independence, border security, economic relief and the embrace of a more populist mindset. He emphasized that if the House flips red, he believed the GOP should “launch constitutional investigations into the origins of COVID-19, the Department of Justice, and Hunter Biden’s.”
Jordan told the GOP to “tee-up” for the 2024 election and place the party’s nominee in a good position to win.
“I think there is time to win,” Jordan told the DCNF. “Remember 9 out of 10 Americans think the nation is headed in the wrong direction.”
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