While his ego may say yes, his logic should tell him no. With the Republican party as fractioned as it is, Trump doesn’t have enough support to go rogue and garner the votes to win a general election.
Types of Voters
In every race, there are three types of voters: saints (MAGA voters), salvageables (those who may have voted for Trump in 2016 but just couldn’t tolerate him for another 4 years despite knowing Biden may turn out to be as terrible as he has), and sinners (those that would rather sit through a Tucker Carlson monologue than vote for Donald Trump). It’s easy to identify Trump’s saints and sinners. What’s not so clear is who is on the fence about him.
Trump is already struggling to outpace Biden and, up until this week, he fell behind in almost every general election poll against the current president. Although Trump is gaining ground, he desperately needs to earn back those salvageable votes.
He also could find support among independents and even potentially more conservative Democrats who just can’t stand by and watch Biden continue to decimate the economy and weaken America’s position on the global stage.
Some who find Trump a total disgrace may even come to realize that behavior in the Biden household is just as indecent as Trump’s, so what the hell? May as well go for the guy who has a better shot at getting the country back on track because according to this week’s polls, anywhere between 59-68 percent think it’s on the wrong one. They may hold their nose when they vote, but they’ll, begrudgingly, do it.
If Trump resorts to a third party, he’s likely to lose those voters to DeSantis or another Republican candidate, leaving only his saints to support him. And that’s not enough to win.
Or they could choose to sit this next one out altogether.
Divided conservatives would result in a sure win for Biden. And no one, not even Donald Trump, could tolerate that. At least one would hope he couldn’t.
Regardless, it doesn’t look like it will come to that.
DeSantis Losing Ground
Despite polls consistently asking about voters’ position on him, DeSantis still hasn’t announced his bid in the Republican primary race. It seems the longer he waits it out, the more his numbers slip.
The most recent polls from this week show DeSantis losing to Biden by 3 points and Trump losing to Biden by 2. This is a shift from earlier polls that showed DeSantis beating Biden by up to 3 points.
Even in Florida, where Trump is a resident, but DeSantis is the beloved Governor, the ex-president is the winner by 8 points. In national polls, he beats DeSantis by up to a margin of 36 points.
Fueling Trump’s Fire
While Democrats may have thought grilling Donald Trump and raking him over the coals the past few months would take him down, it’s only fueled his fire.
Between Alvin Bragg’s ludicrous felony charges, the civil suit from a disgruntled woman who claimed he raped her almost 30 years ago, and a town hall that resembled more of a rehashing of the last six years than any sort of forum for a primary candidate to discuss policy issues, the liberal left is giving even Trump haters reasons to roll their eyes.
Representative Nancy Mace, a Republican from South Carolina who has been critical of Trump, said “You’ve got to work hard to make President Trump a martyr. Congratulations to Manhattan DA, Alvin Bragg, who has managed to do just that.”
Is all of this political grandstanding enough to sway independent or salvageable voters to Trump?
Possibly. Right now, voters are concerned about different issues than what happened in the past. Many are weary of listening to the broken records playing about January 6th, the 2020 election, and sexual scandals on repeat. They want to know what Trump would do about the border, inflation, and the war in Ukraine.
CNN didn’t even give him a chance to fail in their town hall. Trump had his base voter audience eating out of the palm of his hand.
But it did give them viewers – over 3.3 million to be exact. Numbers that resembled Tucker Carlson’s old primetime show ratings, something CNN desperately needs.
However, there’s still plenty of time and polling is notoriously unreliable, particularly in the Trump era. If DeSantis comes out swinging, he could make up for lost time. Trying to predict what may happen in the Republican primary would be a fool’s errand.
Trump embarking on a third-party bid would simply add another fool to the mix.
Jennifer Galardi is the politics and culture editor for 19FortyFive.com. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and produces and hosts the podcast Connection with conversations that address health, culture, politics and policy. In a previous life, she wrote for publications in the health, fitness, and nutrition space. In addition, her pieces have been published in the Epoch Times and Pepperdine Policy Review. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.