Now that Pennsylvania has Congressional Districts drawn in a way that better lives up to the principle of “one person, one vote,” Rep. Ryan Costello has announced he will retire rather than run in a district that went solidly for Hillary Clinton.
In doing so, he explained the same contradiction that I have discussed in the past(1): what it takes to win a GOP primary with an activated Tea Party is mutually exclusive with what it takes to win the general. This phenomenon has been hightened and accelerated with the ascension of a Tea Party President in the form of Donald J. Trump:
In an interview with MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt on Sunday night, Costello was candid about the pressure on Republican lawmakers heading into the midterms.
“What I’ve found is that no matter how much you speak out, those who don’t support the president, it’s not going to be enough for them,” he said. “At that moment in time, you get really stridently pro-Trump Republicans bothered at you because you’re not defending the president. I’m not so sure there’s an easy answer to that conundrum.”