GOP senator says Donald Trump can’t win: Trump is way ahead in polls of the Republican primaries, but one GOP senator is saying that he can’t win a general election
Donald Trump: Losing Support in GOP?
According to the latest Morning Consult tracking poll of the Republican primary contest in 2024, Donald Trump has a huge lead, with 61 percent support.
Ron DeSantis, set to enter the race this week finally, is second with 18 percent, with several other candidates in the single digits.
However, the same poll has Trump losing a head-to-head contest to Biden by 3 percent, adding to continuing doubts that the former president can win a general election against the current one.
Now, it turns out a Republican senator agrees.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), appearing on CNN’s “Face the Nation” over the weekend, said that he is skeptical that Trump can be elected president again.
“I don’t think Trump can win a general election,” Cassidy told Jake Tapper on CNN.
He commented in reaction to a report that Ron DeSantis had told donors that the only “credible” candidates are himself, Trump, and Biden.
Cassidy then pointed out what, six months ago, was conventional wisdom: That many of Trump’s candidates in high-profile midterm races lost in 2022.
“I think the President’s kind of high-profile endorsement of those candidates actually hurt those candidates, at least in the general election,” the senator said. “So if past is prologue, that means President Trump is gonna have a hard time in those swing states, which means that he cannot win a general election.”
Cassidy was among the seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial in early 2021.
“Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person. I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty,” the senator said at the time. This led to him being censured by the Republican Party in his home state of Louisiana.
More Bad News for Trump
Trump got more bad news from Senate Republicans over the weekend. Sen. John Thune (R-SD), the #2 Republican in the Senate, announced that he was endorsing Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) for president, on the day Scott formally declares his candidacy, after he earlier launched an exploratory committee.
Thune becomes the first sitting Republican senator to back a 2024 presidential candidate other than Trump.
Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), the head of the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, is backing Trump.
However, it appears highly unlikely that Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Senate Republican leader, will be backing Trump, his longstanding enemy.
Thune, per CNN, had encouraged Scott to run for president, calling him “really well thought of and respected.” Cassidy had also described Scott as a “pretty formable candidate” in his CNN interview, although he did not go so far as to endorse him.
After the sex abuse trial verdict that went against Trump earlier this month, Thune told NBC News that the verdict would be part of an “ongoing drumbeat” likely to continue throughout Trump’s campaign.
“People are gonna have to decide whether … they want to deal with all the drama that’s going to surround him,” Thune added.
Trump has been critical of Thune in the past, especially when the South Dakota senator was skeptical of the then president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Trump even tried to encourage South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem to challenge Thune in the GOP primary in 2022.
However, she declined to run — she was re-elected as governor — and Thune won the primary and general election easily. Thune has been brought up as a possible successor to McConnell, whenever the Kentucky senator retires, and Trump has denounced him repeatedly as “Mitch’s Boy.”
“I want to thank Republicans in South Dakota for supporting my Senate candidacy,” Thune said after winning the primary last year. “I look forward to continue putting South Dakota’s interests on the national agenda and stopping Biden’s radical, left-wing crusade.”
Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.