Thursday, October 14, 2021


I've seen this theory of 2024 emerging in the America media, and now a British Twitter friend has sent me a BBC story repeating the theory:
Is Trump's power over Republicans starting to slip?

... If Trump is dipping his toe once more into presidential politics, the prospect hasn't been universally welcomed outside the friendly confines of his rallies.

A recent Pew Research poll found that, while two-thirds of Republicans in the US want Trump to remain a "major political figure", fewer than half want him to seek the Republican presidential nomination a third time.

It's what the New York Time's Jonathan Martin has called the "gold watch" constituency - a portion of the party that wants to thank Trump for his service and then usher him into retirement with a shiny gift and a pat on the back.
In the Pew survey, 44% of Republicans and Republican leaners say they want Trump to run, while 22% say he "should support another presidential candidate who shares his views." In the latest Morning Consult poll of the primary field, 47% of Republicans support Trump, 12% each support Mike Pence and Ron DeSantis, 6% support Donald Trump Jr., and no one else gets above 3%.

That alone should be enough for an easy Trump victory. But what if he fades a bit more? And what if Republicans who want to move on from Trump clear the field for one strong challenger? If he's only polling in the 40s, isn't he beatable?

Perhaps -- but please note that these are his numbers before he starts insulting challengers.

If there's a competitive primary, Trump will resort to his most dangerous weapon: schoolyard nicknames. Is Governor DeSantis a serious threat? Overnight he'll become ... Rotten Ron! Can't you hear Trump saying that? Can't you picture the campaign press releases referring to DeSantis as Rotten Ron? (Trump's will probably still be peeved that DeSantis rejected the call for an audit of the 2020 election in Florida, even though Trump won.)

Imagine that Nikki Haley is making a serious run at Trump. Trump will undoubtedly begin referring to her using her real first name -- Nimrata -- and maybe she'll be become Nutso Nimrata. (I don't know why any adult would respond well to these infantile insults, but they seem to have an extraordinary power over right-wing voters.)

If Haley is a top challenger, I assume Trump will attack her for one of her proudest achievements: removing the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds in South Carolina when she was governor. And he'll pay no price for that.

Remember, Trump seemed not to have the support of the majority of GOP voters in 2016, and it was widely believed that he'd be beatable once the primary field narrowed. But as it did, he really started dishing out the insults. Li'l Marco! Lyin' Ted! GOP primary voters were having the time of their lives. He won easily. And he'll do it again.

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