The Republican Party is said to be experiencing an upswing in grassroots involvement, with many of those involved being fans of former President Donald Trump, ProPublica reports.
It’s a development that has Democrats taking notice.
ProPublica, a left-leaning outlet, attempted to link the surge in Republican engagement with those who believe in the many conspiracy theories surrounding the outcome of the 2020 election.
The outlet attributed the newfound right-wing voter enthusiasm to “fringe social networks and message boards, and programs aligned with the QAnon conspiracy theory.”
Bannon’s battle cry
“Suddenly, people who had never before showed interest in party politics started calling the local GOP headquarters or crowding into county conventions, eager to enlist as precinct officers,” the outlet wrote.
The piece continued: “They showed up in states Trump won and in states he lost, in deep-red rural areas, in swing-voting suburbs and in populous cities.”
Another factor was said to be former Trump administration adviser Steve Bannon, now a popular podcast host, who called on Trump supporters to flex their muscles within the party.
“It’s going to be a fight, but this is a fight that must be won, we don’t have an option,” Bannon said during an episode of his program in May. “We’re going to take this back village by village…precinct by precinct.”
2022 is looking good
Anecdotal evidence indicates that people have been heading Bannon’s call, with Polk County, Florida GOP chairman J.C. Martin telling ProPublica, “I’ve never seen anything like this, people are coming out of the woodwork.”
“The most recent time we saw this type of thing was the tea party, and this is way beyond it,” Martin said, recalling the conservative mobilization that took place during President Barack Obama’s first term, which resulted in a massive amount of GOP election wins in the 2010 midterms.
ProPublica published a map showing that 41 out of 65 “key counties” saw an upswing in the number of Republican precinct officers, people who serve as “the worker bees of political parties.”
“The tea party backlash to former President Barack Obama’s election foreshadowed Republican gains in the 2010 midterm,” the outlet noted. “Presidential losses often energize party activists, and it would not be the first time that a candidate’s faction tried to consolidate control over the party apparatus with the aim of winning the next election.”