Republicans have two tasks ahead of them in next year’s midterm elections: to hold on to the working-class voters former President Donald Trump attracted to the party while also trying to win back some of the college-educated suburbanites he repelled.
Doing both simultaneously may be easier said than done. The suburbs have sunk Republicans in consecutive national elections dating back to 2018. But the very qualities that made Trump’s party toxic with those voters also enabled it to be competitive in the Rust Belt, which remained close even with President Biden sitting atop the Democratic ticket in place of Hillary Clinton.
Even in defeat, Republicans eyed the basic contours