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Trump is still Trump and that could be a problem for him in 2024

20 Comments
By James Oliphant
Former U.S. President Donald Trump makes an announcement at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach
Former U.S. President Donald Trump makes an announcement of his plans to run for president in the 2024 U.S. presidential election at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. November 15, 2022. REUTERS/Octavio Jones Photo: Reuters/OCTAVIO JONES

As he mounts another run for president, Donald Trump by all accounts is still the same Donald Trump - aggrieved, petulant and tunnel-focused on his political standing. It's the electoral landscape around him that has changed.

And after Republicans' underwhelming performance in the 2022 midterm elections, people in the party increasingly want to look forward, not back. Trump is no longer the shoo-in for its presidential nomination that he might have been even a year ago.

His potential rivals, notably Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, have been sparking enthusiasm among Republican voters and, just as importantly, raising money from enthusiastic donors. DeSantis thrashed his Democratic opponent to win re-election last week, while many high-profile Trump-backed candidates lost their races.

In an Election Day exit poll published by Edison Research, six out of 10 respondents said they had an unfavorable opinion of the former president.

Trump faces huge challenges on multiple fronts: civil and criminal investigations and a stream of damaging revelations in a congressional inquiry about his efforts to hold onto power despite losing to Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential vote.

In August, he became the subject of a federal criminal probe into a trove of top-secret documents he was keeping at his Florida home. Trump has claimed he was in lawful possession of the papers.

He no longer has access to his main communication platform and weapon - his Twitter account - which he used to mobilize zealous supporters and effectively attack perceived enemies. Twitter's new owner, Elon Musk, however, has suggested he could restore Trump's account.

Trump does retain strong advantages going into a 2024 Republican primary: He remains the most dominant force in the party, he has legions of admirers and he has emerged triumphant from previous setbacks. He also was sitting on a stockpile of about $77 million as of last month, although election rules would make it difficult for him to access it.

POLARIZING FIGURE

At 76, he is also a deeply polarizing figure who has tried the patience of much of the American public. Seven years ago, when he launched his successful presidential bid, Trump the showman and Trump the mogul were known quantities to voters, but who he was as a politician was an open question.

Now there is little doubt, and voters have punished his party as a result, suggesting there is a ceiling to Trump's appeal.

In a series of Republican Party primaries this year, Trump played the role of kingmaker, largely succeeding in his efforts to boost like-minded candidates. But the general election was somewhat of a disaster for him, as Senate candidates he backed in critical states flopped and cost Republicans control of the chamber.

"It’s basically the third election in a row that Donald Trump has cost us the race, and it’s like, three strikes, you’re out,” Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland, a Republican, told CNN on Sunday.

MORE THE MERRIER

Trump is also inextricably linked to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack by his supporters on the U.S. Capitol to try to stop lawmakers from certifying Biden's victory. Trump persists in falsely claiming he lost in 2020 because of massive fraud.

Congressional hearings into the attack have reminded voters that he appeared willing to endanger the safety of his loyal vice president, Mike Pence, who was there on the day, and to fire top officials at the Justice Department to further his unconstitutional push to stay in power.

While Trump wants to seek the Republican nomination unopposed, if rivals do step up to challenge him, he would want as many candidates as possible to get into the race. In that fractured field, a strong alternative candidate would have to emerge for him to lose the nomination.

An October opinion poll by Morning Consult/Politico showed Trump capturing more than 50% of the vote among Republicans, with DeSantis at about 21%. A recent poll of Floridians by Victory Insights found Trump and DeSantis knotted at 50% each.

In a sign that Trump views DeSantis as a mounting threat, he has in recent days taken to boasting at rallies that he would crush him in a Republican primary.

TRUMPISM WITHOUT TRUMP?

There is also the question of whether Trump's rightwing Make America Great Again movement, which has captured much of the Republican Party, needs him any more, becoming instead a Trumpist movement without Trump.

A new wave of candidates has echoed much of Trump's rhetoric without being saddled with his personal liabilities. At times, they have taken angrier and more absolutist positions than those of the former president.

As Florida’s governor, DeSantis has fought against abortion rights, social media companies and the teaching of race and gender in the classroom. He has backed new restrictions on voting.

To some Republicans, DeSantis at age 44 looks more like their party’s future than Trump does. Where DeSantis has placed himself on the cutting edge of Republican politics, Trump by contrast may seem to be like a rock band past its prime, content to play its greatest hits again and again.

Other potential contenders include two rising stars - former South Carolina Governor and former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. Add to the mix Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who may appeal more to establishment-minded Republicans than Trump does.

Trump’s early announcement may be seen as an attempt to keep these potential rivals off the electoral battlefield while he remains in a position of relative strength. He could succeed in getting Republicans behind his third presidential nomination.

It is just as possible, however, that those rivals will see a damaged candidate and smell blood in the water, leaving Trump to decide just how much he wants to do battle for the party he once unquestionably commanded.

© Thomson Reuters 2022.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

20 Comments

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The "con" is over...even the MAGA-masses can see a scam when it goes on for over 2 years...

With exception of a few hard-core cult members, Trump is seen for what he is - an emotionally stunted, narcissistic, full-time golfer and former reality TV host...but what most defines him is "Loser"....

He lost the House in 2018, lost the WH and Senate in 2020, and oversaw a humiliating defeat for his hand-picked MAGA candidates in 2022...

Repubs don't like losers...

Even MAGA-world is waking up to the fact that Trump only hangs around because of his ego and his determination to scam and fleece his flock of as much of their money as he can...

The Ultra MAGA King has no clothes...

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Even MAGA-world is waking up to the fact that Trump only hangs around because of his ego and his determination to scam and fleece his flock of as much of their money as he can...

What will be entertaining will be watching his MAGA sycophants being tied to him, having made MAGA their identity.

Notice how some of them here are starting to not want to even address the fact that they still believe the election was stolen from Trump in 2020?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Trump is still Trump and that could be a problem for him in 2024

The same was said of him in 2016.

It's great to be a US registered voter, and get to contribute to making America great as in Trump's first term.

USA!

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Trump is still Trump and that could be a problem for him in 2024

The same was said of him in 2016.

And lost him the election in 2020. Where do you feel he'll find the voters he needs to make up the difference in 2024? Which sector/demographic will they come from, and how will he appeal to them in 2024 that he wasn't able to in 2020?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

And lost him the election in 2020.

Hmmm...

Where do you feel he'll find the voters he needs to make up the difference in 2024?

In America

Which sector/demographic will they come from,

The poor and middle class

and how will he appeal to them in 2024 that he wasn't able to in 2020?

He did very well, but....

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Why are so many of the GOP top brass opposed to Don Conleone

As if anyone cares what the establishment thinks

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

As if anyone cares what the establishment thinks

More than 200 million do care.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

More than 200 million do care.

So half of that don’t care and that’s not including illegals

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

And lost him the election in 2020. 

Hmmm...

Trump lost in 2020. He lost badly.

He also oversaw the loss of the house in the midterms ( a much heavier defeat than Biden oversaw ) and eventually saw the Democrats take control of the senate.

Objectively speaking, he wasn’t good for the GOP in terms of elections after taking office.

Not a good option.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Personally, I would minimize what kind of information I disclose here, but to each his own.

I will let it be known that Trump being Trump is his and the Republican Party's greatest asset.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Trump lost in 2020. He lost badly. 

Hmmm…

He also oversaw the loss of the house in the midterms

And now got the House

( a much heavier defeat than Biden oversaw ) and eventually saw the Democrats take control of the senate. *

Not entirely

Objectively speaking, he wasn’t good for the GOP in terms of elections after taking office. 

I disagree.

Not a good option.

Trump or DeSantis 2024 the two strongest options.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It would be cool if someone compiled a resource accessible to all to see what kind of people voted for a candidate.

Many public record resources are available, all compliant with Japan's protection of personal information laws.

Easy to find many registered voters.

https://voterrecords.com

Or, if someone owns property

https://officialrecords.broward.org/AcclaimWeb

Just plug in the name, and the information is free and available to all.

If people are willing to disclose their names here, then they consent to having a public records search performed.

Makes sense. We live in a digital world.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Objectively speaking, he wasn’t good for the GOP in terms of elections after taking office. 

I disagree

So the Republicans losing the house in 2018 and losing the presidency and control of the senate in 2020 was good?

I hate to see what your definition of failure is.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So the Republicans losing the house in 2018 and losing the presidency and control of the senate in 2020 was good?

No, but the Republicans did overall not bad in Trump and Mitch appointing about 234 lower circuit court judges appointed, and out of that as you already know 3 of them made it to The Supreme Court.

Also the other 174 judges were unanimously confirmed for the US Court of Appeals and 54 judges assumed positions with the US District Courts. so in that sense he does get credit, a lot of it in fact.

I hate to see what your definition of failure is.

Losing the ability to use other people’s money which the Dems just lost that privilege today. Thank God, couldn’t happen sooner.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

So the Republicans losing the house in 2018 and losing the presidency and control of the senate in 2020 was good?

No, but the Republicans did overall not bad in Trump and Mitch appointing about 234 lower circuit court judges appointed, and out of that as you already know 3 of them made it to The Supreme Court.

Loves Mitch today....yesterday called him a RINO loser...flip one day, flip the next....

Also the other 174 judges were unanimously confirmed for the US Court of Appeals and 54 judges assumed positions with the US District Courts. so in that sense he does get credit, a lot of it in fact.

More Mitch love....I guess he agrees with Mitch that "the President bears the entire responsibility for the Jan 6th attack".....

I hate to see what your definition of failure is.

Losing the ability to use other people’s money which the Dems just lost that privilege today. Thank God, couldn’t happen sooner.

Failure is what one top REPUB strategist called the "Red Wave".....aka the "Red Disaster"....

https://thehill.com/homenews/3726972-fox-newss-marc-thiessen-says-midterms-a-disaster-for-gop/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Republicans also use other people's money. They don't have some secret ATM. Trump increased the National Debt by $7 trillion.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Trump has $75 million from his failed previous election. It is not clear if he can the money for a new campaign.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Three billionaires have dropped former President Donald Trump in two days.

*Ronald Lauder, the heir to the Estée Lauder fortune.

*Republican superdonor Stephen Schwarzman.

*Citadel's Ken Griffin.

They will back DeSantis.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Loves Mitch today....yesterday called him a RINO loser..

Yes, and yes!

More Mitch love....I guess he agrees with Mitch that "the President bears the entire responsibility for the Jan 6th attack".....

He may think that, I have a dodge opinion.

Failure is what one top REPUB strategist called the "Red Wave".....aka the "Red Disaster"....

Winning is obtaining the House, which we did, I’m good, I’m ecstatic!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The Republicans also use other people's money.

No, they don’t use income redistribution or hand out entitlements massively, that’s the reason why they won the House to stop the Dems spending spree.

Trump has $75 million from his failed previous election. It is not clear if he can the money for a new campaign

If he ends up being the nominee, he can. Let’s wait and see

Three billionaires have dropped former President Donald Trump in two days.

That’s ok, there are many billionaires in the US, not just them.

They will back DeSantis.

Good for them, that is if DeSantis even runs.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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