Republicans face intraparty clashes at start of election year

Legislatures and state parties have seen splits and dysfunction.
Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., and other members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus call for the removal of President Joe Biden over the close of war in Afghanistan, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

A clash between the Republican Party’s governing and populist wings is stretching from the halls of Congress into state capitals, where several recent headline-grabbing skirmishes have shined a spotlight on the tensions.

In Missouri, a member of the state Freedom Caucus chapter was threatened with expulsion by leadership. In Michigan, the state party ousted its chair, and interim leaders filed a lawsuit to ensure her removal. In Georgia, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s handling of the 2020 election audit has spurred activists, motivated by unfounded fraud claims, to push for an investigation of him.

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