One conservative commentator doesn’t think Trump has any way to win. But it’s not exactly ‘mission impossible’ for him to return to the presidency.
Donald Trump: Can He Win in 2024?
Two things happened this week that would seem to very much hurt former President Donald Trump’s chances to return to the presidency. First, he was indicted as part of a sprawling indictment in Georgia, that may very well put him on trial before the election. Second, a poll was released that claimed 53 percent of the electorate would not vote for Trump.
Yes, the latter development is only one poll, nearly a year and a half before the election. But it’s hard to get elected president if 53 percent of voters won’t vote for you.
Both of those things sounded the alarm bells for one conservative writer, Charles C.W. Cooke of National Review, who asked Thursday what exactly “the plan” is for the GOP.
“The broader public hates Donald Trump. Nominating him and then pretending he’s been cheated when he loses is not a strategy; it’s self-destruction,” Cooke writes.
“The warning signs could not be brighter. Survey after survey after survey shows that the people whom the Republican Party needs to win if it is to re-take the White House — the people who actually decide elections in America — do not share the primary electorate’s assumptions about Donald Trump,” Cooke writes, accusing pro-Trump conservatives of being in a bubble, which he compared to that of liberals in elite institutions.
Sure, Biden is himself unpopular. But his number of voters who would never support him is lower than Trump’s.
In RealClearPolitics’ measure of the polls, Biden leads by an average of 0.4 percent in a head-to-head matchup between Biden and Trump. Biden leads every major poll taken so far in August, although usually by only 1 point or so, although the president leads the latest Fox News poll by 3 points.
“The harsh truth is that Donald Trump lucked out once, and then proved a terrible drag in every subsequent election,” Cooke added, after calling the 2016 election a fluke. “If he is nominated in 2024, he will prove a drag again. How do I know this? I know this because, helpfully, the voting public is letting us all know it before Republicans make yet another terrible mistake. If the party’s plan is simply to ignore this information for the time being, and then, when it all becomes horribly clear and the Democrats have won power once again, to pretend stupidly that Trump has been cheated once again, then it will deserve everything that comes to it.”
All of that is very likely to happen, especially if Trump spends a large chunk of 2024 on trial and bad facts about things that he did are in the news every single day.
That said, it’s not totally out of the realm of possibility that Trump could win.
After all, he’s not behind by that much in the polls. Trump could draw the sort of inside straight he did in 2016, in winning the exact states that he won then or something similar. The election is quite a long way away, 15 months in fact, and there’s no telling what major global events might take place during that time. A recession? A terrorist attack? A war in an unexpected part of the world? Some sort of sudden economic calamity? All of those things have happened at least once in the last 25 years, always with huge political implications.
And of course, there’s always a chance something happens health-wise to President Biden, and someone else ends up as the Democratic nominee. Or perhaps, despite all indications so far, the Republicans in Congress can actually find some type of wrongdoing by Biden that actually sticks.
But in the meantime, it looks like the Republicans are stuck with an uncommonly unpopular, twice-impeached, and four-times-indicted Donald Trump in 2024.
Author 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. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.
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