The closer we get to 2023, the more intense national politics will be | Roegner

Midway through the 2022 primary season, Democrats are questioning if President Joe Biden can save them from the expected mid-term trouncing and if he can advance his agenda.

Already, Republicans Mike Pence and Ron DeSantis, among others, are testing their message in public where they can adjust as they get feedback on what works.

Some Republicans are making it clear they won’t step aside for Donald Trump, although he has to be favored to win the nomination.

Right now, Democrats are scoring points with public hearings on the January 6 matter, with an impressive list of important people and their aides. Many Republicans hope the Democrats take Biden out of the race, and many want to get past Trump as their leader.

Other names in the news who are considering the race include former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. Others testing the water as potential vice presidential candidates, if their campaign has problems attracting donations and support, are former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. Each has been invited to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library to lay out what the future looks like to them and what policies they would pursue.

Those who have attended “cause” fundraisers include Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) and Rick Scott (R-Florida). An interesting choice to speak at the Reagan Library was Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming), who was scheduled in late June to speak about the future of the Republican Party. For policy issues, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) seems to be refining his thoughts.

The reason may come from Trump’s favorite topic, the 2020 election, which is starting to grow stale among Republicans. His false claims still have an audience. And they also distract from the discussion about the economy, inflation, the price of gas and child care — issues that actually affect people’s lives.

Hogan and Christie are the Republicans most likely to test if the party is ready to move on from Trump. But six in 10 Republican-leaning voters said party leaders should follow Trump’s leadership, whereas 34% want to take the party in a different direction.

In addition to pocketbook issues, the general public wants an easy answer to gun control and abortion. Democrats see gun control as a winning issue while Republicans see abortion as a potential winning issue.

The closer we get to 2023, the more intense it will be — unless one candidate starts to put together a platform with broad voter appeal.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact