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Trump supporters rally near Mar-a-Lago on Feb. 15. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Trump didn't have to punish his critics in Congress — his allies back in the states instantly and eagerly did the dirty work.

Why it matters: Virtually every Republican who supported impeachment was censured back home, or threatened with a primary challenge.

  • Today through Sunday, many will make the trek to a sold-out CPAC ("America Uncanceled") in Orlando to kiss the ring — and trash the "traitors."

We're quickly seeing that Trump's true power source is in the states, powered by 2020 success.

  • Republicans picked up 14 House seats, including a dozen they lost two years earlier. They need +6 in 2022.
  • In 2021, Republicans will have full control of the legislative and executive branches in 24 states. Democrats will have full control of the legislative and executive branch in 15 states.
  • "Republicans hold total control of redistricting in 18 states, including Florida, North Carolina and Texas, which are growing in population and expected to gain seats after the 2020 census is tabulated," the N.Y. Times reports (subscription). "Some election experts believe the G.O.P. could retake the House in 2022 based solely on gains from newly drawn districts."
  • Democrats targeted nine states to flip control and failed in all.

The bottom line: Look at how the state parties are censuring anti-Trumpers. In the eyes of the base, the party thrived under Trump — and see anti-Trumpers as the reason the GOP didn't do even better.

Go deeper

GOP rift on display: McCarthy, Cheney on Trump speaking at CPAC

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) publicly contradicted one another at a press conference Wednesday over whether former President Trump should speak at the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Why it matters: The divergence between the No. 1 and No. 3 House Republicans shows the stark divide in the leadership ranks of the Republican Party in a post-Trump era.

Feb 25, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Cheney's take on Trump highlights GOP split about future

Kevin McCarthy and Liz Cheney on Wednesday. Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

Rep. Liz Cheney is staking her claim as a new thought leader for the GOP, seizing on her role as the Republicans' Trump critic-in-chief while the party navigates its post-MAGA future.

Why it matters: Cheney is offering the party a more traditional brand of conservatism and serving as the guinea pig for other Republicans eager to break with the former president but wary of the fallout. The emerging question is whether both party factions can win not just primaries but general elections.

Biden revokes Trump's pandemic ban on certain forms of legal immigration

President Biden with signing executive orders in the White House on Feb. 24. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden rolled back former President Trump's suspension of certain forms of legal immigration because of the coronavirus pandemic, saying it "does not advance the interests of the United States." 

Why it matters: Business groups, including the technology industry, had repeatedly called on the Trump administration to rescind the suspensions on work visas because they complicated recruiting and retaining foreign professionals seeking to work in the U.S.