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Donald Trump Will Be Watching This Vote Closely (No, Not 2024)

Donald Trump speaking to supporters at an immigration policy speech at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
Donald Trump speaking to supporters at an immigration policy speech at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

Grassroots Republicans Looking for New Leadership of RNC – Republicans have been preparing for this day for months. On January 27, they will hold an election for the Republican National Committee chairperson. Many of the 168 RNC members who are voting are looking for what they view as a more grassroots conservative challenger against current chair Ronna McDaniel. McDaniel has served throughout the last three election cycles, and you could argue that the GOP has lost all three under her watch, which puts her job in peril.

Who Is Running?

McDaniel is a prolific fund-raiser but she has been criticized for not being on the right side of trends that Democrats excel in such as early voting and mail-in ballot harvesting. She is aiming for her fourth term having served since 2017. Also running is former Trump attorney and ex-vice chair of the California Republican Party Harmeet Dhillon. Mike Lindell, the MyPillow CEO, is a conservative stalwart not favored in the race but who may pick up some votes that McDaniel would normally lock-in.

Race Dynamics

RNC members will vote on secret ballots at the conference in Dana Point, California. Several state parties from Florida to Arizona have passed resolutions choosing Dhillon over McDaniel. However, Dhillon and Lindell could split up the vote and enable McDaniel to reach the majority to be re-elected.

McDaniel Routed in Twitter Poll

Movement Conservatives are ready for a change. Rightwing non-profit leader, Charlie Kirk, considered a strong voice among insurgent Republicans, held a Twitter poll January 27. While not a scientific survey, Dhillon won overwhelmingly, and Lindell performed well. With over 14,500 votes counted, Dhillon took 69 percent of the vote, Lindell had 28 percent, and McDaniel only 3 percent. This shows that grassroots conservatives are highly dissatisfied with her leadership. A more traditional poll from Trafalgar earlier this month showed McDaniel with only with 5.6 percent support of Republican voters.

Trump Not Weighing With an Endorsement

Surprisingly, former President Donald Trump has remained on the sidelines without endorsing anyone, which is unexpected considering his love for playing kingmaker. His potential primary rival, former Governor Ron DeSantis has called for “change” and “new blood” atop the RNC. DeSantis appears to be favoring Dhillon.  

Don’t Call Them Rallies (But They Really Are)

Trump will follow-up on the RNC vote with some key campaign appearances that will give a glimpse of his support. On January 28, he will be in New Hampshire, the first state he won in the 2016 primary. Then it is off to South Carolina which is another critical state. Trump campaign leaders are not calling the events “rallies,” but any speech to Trump supporters should be considered one while he extols a mix of poll numbers where he is leading, grievances about the 2020 election that he lost, and punchy nicknames for Democrats.

Trump Cares: South Carolina Could Be Up for Grabs

South Carolina will be a notable barometer for Trump support because there are two politicians who may run for president there – former UN Ambassador and South Carolina governor Nikki Hailey and U.S. Senator Tim Scott. If DeSantis declares for president, he will likely wait until May for the announcement when his state’s legislative session is over.

High Energy Needed

Trump will look to show some energy in his speeches to keep rivals on the sidelines. It will be interesting to see if he attacks other potential candidates or focuses on his own electability as the front runner and best challenger to President Joe Biden.

The Trump camp will be watching the results of the RNC closely to find clues about his support among party insiders. In 2016, the RNC was instrumental in giving Trump’s campaign more organization, volunteers, and get out the vote efforts while the former president focused on his rallies and earned media coverage. He will need the RNC to be fully behind him in 2024 if he is to win the general election against Biden.

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Author Expertise and Experience: Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.

Written By

Now serving as 1945s New Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.

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