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The Problem of the Base

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What a second Trump Presidency would be all about

What a second Trump Presidency would be all about

Will He or Won't He?

Everyone can see what is coming in 2024. Donald Trump is going to try and run for the Office of the President of the United States again.

Trump himself has said he has already made his decision about running. Insiders have leaked to the media that his motivation is to shield himself from the host of criminal investigations he is facing, many for his actions pertaining to the 2020 election.

Also adding motivation is the number of people saying that Trump has no chance to win. That kind of hopelessness will certainly goad Trump's narcissism to try and prove everyone wrong.

What this creates is a very big problem for the GOP in that Trump still controls the base of the party, as illustrated below.

July 30, 2022: nearly half the GOP still wants Trump for 2024

July 30, 2022: nearly half the GOP still wants Trump for 2024

Can the GOP Break Free From Trumpism?

Many in the GOP are looking for other options for 2024, as half are thinking of candidates other than Trump. But with such a grip on the base, how does anyone plan to consolidate that support to overtake the lead that Trump will have among Republican voters to secure the party's nomination?

Trump hasn't begun to attack his competition yet like he did in 2016 to completely destroy mainstream options and experienced candidates like Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Marco Rubio.

The one thing that base voters respond to is epic trolling, and no one trolls as well as Trump. Can anyone see Ted Cruz or Mike Pence being able to withstand Trump's onslaught of demeaning campaign barbs?

They also follow those who are anti-government, and among the candidates that will be challenging Trump in 2024, you have lifetime politicians in DeSantis, Pompeo, and Pence.

Let alone that this was a man that was able to convince 60-70% of the Republican Party that a free and fair election was stolen. The base clings to whatever this man says, no matter how far-fetched and lacking in proof or facts.

Many have made the claim that his base is actually a cult and no longer a political party. So best of luck to any other candidate in trying to pry away his supporters.

Polling outside of the GOP is where the problem lies

Polling outside of the GOP is where the problem lies

Can Trump Even Win in 2024?

Herein lies the problem for the GOP as illustrated by the graphic above: the January 6 hearings have eroded enough support away from Trump within the party and within Independents that many fear that he is unelectable in a national contest.

The same passion he inspires among the base of GOP voters is matched—actually it is eclipsed, as noted by the 94% figure above—by the absolute disdain that Democratic voters feel for the man.

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Many in the GOP see that 35% support among Independents as the major reason they are beginning to openly back other candidates, with Ron DeSantis being the heir apparent.

"All of the Trump policies with none of the Trump baggage" might as well be his campaign slogan.

Illinois, as an example

Illinois, as an example

Still the Favorite for the 2024 Nomination

The graphic above shows how a small poll of Illinois GOP voters would respond with potential 2024 candidates on a primary ballot. Trump still dominates the field with over 50% of the vote.

That figure exists before Trump begins to campaign and attack his competition. Does anyone really believe that someone that far out in front can be caught?

GOP voters favor Trump over the party

GOP voters favor Trump over the party

Trump vs. the Grand Old Party

Trump is still the dominant figure in the Republican Party and he holds one more major strategy tool in his pocket to wield should it become necessary. He could threaten to run as a third-party candidate and take many of his supporters with him. That move would decimate the Republican Party and give it zero chance to win a national election.

Even if the party wanted to back someone else for the nomination, Trump wields enough influence with the base to prevent them from undermining him due to the chance of defection.

In polling from February of 2022, some 46% of Republicans would have gone with Trump to a new party as shown above. That figure has to be another major concern for the GOP, as it shows that many more side with Trump over the party.

Trump is in legal peril in Georgia

Trump is in legal peril in Georgia

The Government Could Save the GOP From Trumpism

There may only be one thing that can save the Republican Party from itself, and that is outside help from the government. Should Merrick Garland or Fani Willis in Georgia deem there is enough evidence of criminality and charge Trump with crimes, that might be something that swings momentum towards DeSantis.

One or both could level charges, with Willis' case being the stronger of the two due to the recorded phone call of Trump pressuring Georgia officials to find votes and change the outcome of the election.

Should Trump be found guilty of crimes, that might be the breaking point for many in his base—although you can be assured that Trump will claim political persecution and that the government acted unfairly while he gets dragged off to prison.

The Endgame

Whatever ends up happening, it is sure to be interesting. You can bet that the GOP is hoping for some kind of intervention and that the Democrats are hoping that Trump becomes the nominee, because that might be the only way their candidate gets elected to the White House in 2024.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 JOC

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