In the 2023 calendar year, no meaningful federal offices were up for election. Despite this, the polarized, toxic, volatile and divisive nature of federal politics in the United States carried over to several meaningful state level elections that occurred. While Democrats were thought to be vulnerable in several key races across the country due to the widespread unpopularity of President Joe Biden, major conflicts in the Middle East and Europe and economic decline at home the party performed well. In New Jersey, Republicans had hoped to continue to make gains in the state legislature after picking up seven seats in 2021 and revitalizing the party in an increasingly blue state. Despite enjoying a favorable electoral climate and several local issues like offshore wind, taxes, and gender identity public school curriculum legislation battles going in their favor the party lost majorly. Democrats regained 5 seats lost in 2021 and captured another in a deep red district. In Virginia, Democrats rebounded after losing the governorship in 2021, and in Kentucky, a Democrat was re-elected to the governor’s office in the solidly red state.
Truthfully, the Republican party remains unappealing to many moderate voters. Looking ahead to the 2024 presidential election, the former president Donald Trump remains the party frontrunner for the nomination and meaningfully holds a very sizeable lead over his nearest challenger, Ron DeSantis. Despite much of the GOP base galvanizing around Trump, he remains vulnerable, facing four criminal indictments and is widely unpopular among independents.
One of Trumps challengers, Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina recently spent $10 million on advertisements in the state of Iowa as she gears up for the crucial Iowa caucus. Backed by many establishment figures in the party, Haley is a career politician and represents a group of moderate centrist globalist Republicans who hope to stop Trump from earning the nomination. Haley is polling at only around 9%, 50 points less than Trump.