Is Taking On Trump Too Risky for Republicans?

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The big primary news on Tuesday was the defeat of Republican Congressman Mark Sanford. It’s a good opportunity to repeat one of my favorite themes: how a party’s interpretation of an election matters, whether the interpretation is correct or not.

Why did Sanford lose? Everybody knows: It’s because Sanford has been critical of President Donald Trump. As the Washington Post put it, “Sanford founders in South Carolina after critical tweet from Trump.”

But is that true? I’m pretty confident that Trump’s late-afternoon tweet didn’t make much of a difference, even if it swayed some last-minute voters. There is, however, good reporting indicating that both candidates talked about their support for Trump during the campaign.





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