Culture Wars/Current Controversies

How Moderates Won the Midterms

A lesson for any party that wants to succeed in 2024

An illustration of the Democratic donkey and the Republican elephant vying for a crown.
Getty; The Atlantic

Who will control Congress after yesterday’s midterm elections remains unclear, but two things are certain: Moderation can pay big electoral dividends, and Donald Trump has become a liability for the Republican Party.

Yes, plenty of extremist candidates just won office. According to The New York Times, more than 200 Republican candidates who denied the results of the 2020 election or flirted with doing so secured victories on Tuesday. In many states, too few voters are queasy enough about the MAGA movement’s attacks on election integrity to keep the deniers out of office. Clearly, extremist candidates who question our democratic institutions retain some electoral viability.

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