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Why the GOP Is Stuck with Donald Trump

Donald Trump speaking at the Iowa Republican Party's 2015 Lincoln Dinner at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa. By Gage Skidmore.
Donald Trump speaking at the Iowa Republican Party's 2015 Lincoln Dinner at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa.

Donald Trump Will Win in 2024. Here’s Why: As Nikki Haley seems set to jump into the 2024 GOP nomination contest for president, quite a few of my Republican colleagues who were veterans of the nomination process back in 2008, 2012, and 2016 are getting quite vocal. 

Well, at least in private.

Their consensus view, which I can summarize on background after speaking to about six GOP heavyweights, seems straightforward: Donald Trump will be the 2024 GOP nominee for president unless he does something so hideous that the entire MAGA wing of the party abandons him.

And, as you can imagine, as these are the populist voters that he brought into the party – and, according to MAGA, Donald Trump can do no wrong – it seems Trump 2024 is a go-to take on Joe Biden

Why am I willing to go so far out on a limb so early in the nomination process? Well, for one, I don’t have anything to lose – ha, ha.

But second, and more importantly, my GOP contacts feel we are in for a replay of the 2016 GOP contest.

I keep hearing that more as I meet with more GOP party officials, congressional leaders, staff, and political consultants. 

Right now, we have a GOP field that will include Nikki Haley and possibly include Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, Mike Pence, Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis, Chris Sununu, Larry Hogan, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Tim Scott, Glenn Youngkin, Kristi Noem, Robert C. O’Brien and maybe a few more. 

That’s massive – and it means good things for Donald Trump.

Why Donald Trump Wins 

Let us suppose for a moment that only half of these fine folks decide to run.

That means the GOP electorate will split their votes against Donald Trump, giving him an edge just like it did in 2016. No candidate will ever get the mass support needed to beat Trump, meaning no clear favorite can emerge. 

And for me, that looks like a Donald Trump 2024 GOP nomination – unless the party can somehow move towards one consensus candidate early – like Ron Desantis, of course. But I just don’t see that happening just yet or anytime soon. This is politics, and people can’t see they will be crushed until it’s too late. 

“I would bet all my chips that Donald Trump is the 2024 GOP nominee to take on Joe Biden, bottom line,” explained a senior campaign official for Mitt Romney back in 2012.

“Trump will take on the same old tired GOP names we all know and appreciate. However, the party is MAGA, and only Donald Trump can personify the politics and vision 2024 GOP voters want now. The field will be too large and divided to give anyone an opening. 2024, at least to me, will be a repeat of 2016.” 

As one campaign staffer for John McCain 2008 told me: “Too many in the GOP don’t realize to this day this is the party of Donald Trump. Unless one person can align enough support, take his message, and beat him using his message – and the means a tiny GOP field – Trump wins.” 

It feels like 2016 – all over again. Get the popcorn ready. 

Written By

Harry J. Kazianis (@Grecianformula) is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive and serves as President and CEO of Rogue States Project, a bipartisan national security think tank. He has held senior positions at the Center for the National Interest, the Heritage Foundation, the Potomac Foundation, and many other think tanks and academic institutions focused on defense issues. He served on the Russia task force for U.S. Presidential Candidate Senator Ted Cruz, and in a similar task force in the John Hay Initiative. His ideas have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, CNN, CNBC, and many other outlets across the political spectrum. He holds a graduate degree in International Relations from Harvard University and is the author of The Tao of A2/AD, a study of Chinese military modernization. Kazianis also has a background in defense journalism, having served as Editor-In-Chief at The Diplomat and Executive Editor for the National Interest.