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David Zalubowski / AP

Moderate Republican House members have had a much tougher recess than conservatives when it comes to Trumpcare. Members from purple districts have had to weather angry liberals and disappointed conservatives, while conservatives have largely emerged as heroes.

I went to the town halls of Reps. Mike Coffman, a Colorado moderate who supported the House health care bill, and Ron DeSantis, a Florida member of the Freedom Caucus who opposed it.

  • Coffman was attacked by liberals angry about his support of Trumpcare, while some Republican constituents expressed disappointment with him for supporting a bill they thought would only make Obamacare's problems worse.
  • Meanwhile, DeSantis received much less blowback (although his town hall was folded into a speaker series at a local college) and is regarded by some of his constituents as having saved them from a bad health care bill.

"I think, quite frankly, most voters in this district were happy with how I explained the problems with the bill," DeSantis told me after his event ended. "Most of the Republicans who were here didn't think it was a good bill, and obviously the Democrats don't want to do anything that deals with Obamacare in that way."

Why this matters: With different factions of the GOP pointing fingers at one another, the blame game is only effective if members' constituents are angry with their representative. Right now, it seems like the Freedom Caucus is actually being celebrated for blocking Trumpcare, which was extremely unpopular nationally.

What to watch: Town halls this recess showed that moderates have the most to lose, and they may have made nervous members even more apprehensive of voting for Trumpcare — especially if it moves further to the right. Meanwhile, the Freedom Caucus has likely been emboldened in challenging GOP leadership.

"Are Republican voters going to blame [opponents of the bill] because the bill failed, because they were raising objections, or are they going to blame the people who created the bill?" DeSantis asked. "My sense is they're more frustrated with how the bill was created and what it didn't do."

Go deeper

Rep. Rice demands Cuomo resign after 3rd woman accuses him of misconduct

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February news conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) on Monday evening called for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to resign, after a third woman accused him of inappropriate behavior.

Driving the news: Anna Ruch, a former member of the Obama administration and the 2020 Biden campaign, told the New York Times Monday that Cuomo asked to kiss her at a New York City wedding reception in September 2019.

Scoop: Inside the GOP's plan to retake the House

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Republicans will reclaim their majority in 2022 by offering candidates who are women, minorities or veterans, a memo obtained by Axios says.

Why it matters: The document, drafted by a super PAC blessed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, names top Democrats to target — Jared Golden of Maine, Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania and Ron Kind of Wisconsin — and the type of Republican candidates to beat them.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Trump talked out of early Ohio endorsement

Jane Timken at a 2017 Trump rally. Photo: Kyle Mazza/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Donald Trump had to be talked out of making an early endorsement in Ohio's 2022 U.S. Senate race, a sign of his eagerness to reengage politically, people familiar with the conversations tell Axios.

What we're hearing: The former president discussed endorsing former state GOP chair Jane Timken last week during a meeting at Mar-a-Lago with RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, but top advisers — including Donald Trump Jr. — urged him to wait.