Former President Donald Trump is a man of many contradictions.
At once beloved by a core group of working-and-middle-class voters, the former president evokes unbridled hatred from other elements of the electorate (for the same reasons he engenders such adoration from that first group of voters).
Having lost the popular vote but winning a key swing element of the electoral college vote in 2016, Trump was unexpectedly catapulted into office.
Almost from the start, though, Trump was never as popular as his predecessors.
Trump’s Democratic Party opponents could bleed support for the forty-fifth president by persistent attacks on him from the moment he stepped into the White House. Unfounded allegations that the Russians compromised Trump congealed with unpopular moves by the president on issues like immigration to militate a significant challenge to Trump’s presidency.
Trump’s Long History of Losing Bigly
What followed was the loss of the Republican Party’s majority in Congress in the 2018 Midterms.
This defeat was brought about by mostly women voters who were disgusted by the forty-fifth president’s treatment of women and policies on abortion (which is one reason Trump is cynically turning his back on the Pro-Life movement that is a key pillar of the Republican Party).
Things didn’t get much better for Trump who, despite having presided over a wildly prosperous economy for most of his term in office, also oversaw the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression.
That rapid economic downturn occurred as a direct result of Trump Administration policies (encouraged by the likes of Dr. Anthony Fauci) aimed at curtailing the spread of the novel coronavirus that leeched out from Wuhan, China, in my opinion, at least. The policies not only resulted in the economy being destroyed but also militated a large cohort of the electorate to vote against Trump and in favor of “Sleepy” Joe Biden.
Trump’s unconventional challenge to the 2020 Election results did him little favors with the general electorate, regardless of whether there was any nefariousness with the mail-in-balloting or not.
The fact was that Trump had worn out his welcome because of his perceived rough-and-tumble personality and the economic collapse of 2020 caused by his draconian COVID-19 policies.
For two more years, Trump battled legal issues and other controversies until the 2022 Midterms, where it was assumed that the Republicans would take back power in a “Red Wave” reminiscent of the clean sweep that the GOP enjoyed in the historic 2010 Midterms.
This ultimately did not happen.
In fact, most of Trump’s preferred candidates floundered and failed to overcome even the weakest Democratic Party candidates in that election.
For the Love All Things Sacred: Trump’s Candidate Lost to John Fetterman!
A great example was the inability of Dr. Mehmet Oz, a highly accomplished surgeon and reality television star—who was massively wealthy in his own right—to overcome the likes of the slovenly and barely cogent John Fetterman for Pennsylvania’s coveted senate seat.
Oz was backed loudly and proudly by Trump, who believed Oz was “straight from central casting” (a key reason for why Trump hires and promotes the personalities that he does—and likely a key factor behind these personalities rarely living up to expectations).
The rest of the important 2022 Midterms played out precisely as did the 2018 Midterms. There was a general, visceral reaction from most voters against the Trumpiest candidates the GOP fielded.
That’s why the “Red Wave” converted quickly into barely a “Red Splash.”
In all this, Trump’s favorability among voters never broke the negative doldrums it had languished in since he first ran for the presidency in 2016.
Donald Trump Suddenly Does Well in the Polls He Once Called “Fake”
Yet, a spate of polls released over the last six months shows that, suddenly, America’s crazy uncle, Donald Trump, would beat America’s senile grandfather, Joe Biden, in a head-to-head match-up.
Most recently, a Washington Post-ABC News poll indicates that Trump has a ten-point lead over Biden nationally. What’s more, a poll from the summer shows that Trump was leading Biden in the key swing states that ultimately put Trump—just barely—over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
Unlike in 2020, when most Americans were negatively reacting to Trump’s record as president (something he lacked in 2016), prompting them to place “Basement” Joe Biden in the White House over the orange man, Trump, in 2024 the roles are somewhat reversed. Yes, Trump still have a record and an underwater favorability rating nationally.
But so does Biden.
And Biden, who is currently the president, is running on an abysmal record as president. Most voters believe that the economy is doing poorly under Biden’s leadership.
They don’t believe the forty-sixth president has a handle on the gaping wound that is America’s broken southwestern border. Overwhelming numbers of voters—a whopping 74 percent—think that Joe Biden is too old to run for reelection (meanwhile, just over half of all voters also feel that Trump is too old to be president again).
It’s important to remember that the country is a staggering 16 months away from the General Election being decided. We’re still almost more than five months from the first ballots being cast in the GOP Primary in Iowa.
Polls can be a helpful gauge of the nation’s mood, but most polls—particularly this early in an election—are entirely useless. The only polls that ultimately matter are the final vote counts in the primary election and then the general election.
Trump still must get through a crowded GOP field (which, according to polls, he is). Biden still must overcome the House Republican-led impeachment inquiry, as well as the candidacies of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Cornel West, which will undoubtedly cleave key votes away from Biden in the General Election—particularly if RFK, Jr., joins Cornel West in running as an independent presidential challenger in 2024.
The former president’s reelection campaign has been understandably sharing this great polling data as proof that Trump will win in 2024.
I have spoken with a few former colleagues from Capitol Hill who are now working on the Biden reelection campaign, and they tell me that the Democratic National Committee (DNC), despite appearances to the contrary, is “increasingly worried” about Joe Biden’s prospects.
These people tell me that, if anything, the DNC is worried about Biden’s chances because of the man’s advanced age and all the negatives associated with that.
Trump’s Huge Legal Woes
One thing that the Trump Campaign keeps glossing over, and the Biden people are pinning their hopes on, is that Trump’s massive legal problems will inevitably compound to do significant damage to Trump’s reelection campaign (should Trump again be made the GOP nominee in 2024).
In fact, a WPA Intelligence poll has President Biden defeating former President Trump by six points, should Trump be convicted of any of the 91 felonies he has been charged with. As an aside, Biden defeated Trump in 2020 by a meager 4.5 percentage points (that’s just a point and and a half away from the six points that Biden supposedly defeats Trump by, if Trump is found guilty of the charges against him).
Apparently, most voters don’t like the notion of electing a convict to the White House, regardless of their party. And that’s the rub: Trump is going to be convicted of at least some of the cavalcade of charges arrayed against him.
What’s more, if Trump were to be found guilty in either the federal January 6 case or the Georgia state prosecution against Trump for allegedly attempting to unduly influence the 2020 Election in the Peach State, the case for invoking the “Insurrection Clause” of the Fourteenth Amendment against Trump—thereby disqualifying him from ever holding office again—would be greatly enhanced.
Dear Trump Team: Arrogance Can Be Blinding
Donald Trump and his cadre believe they’ve got a lock both on the GOP nomination as well as the White House. By hook-or-by-crook, the Democrats are probably going to prove this assumption dreadfully wrong…at the absolute worst moment for the GOP.
After all, “Sleepy” Joe Biden has already proven himself able to the “very stable genius” Donald Trump.
Why assume he cannot do so again, given all that Trump is up against?
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert occasionally serves as a Subject Matter Expert for various organizations, including the Department of Defense. He can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.
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