November 26, 2022
Is Trump fading? (Episode 2)
He has announced that he is running again. The threshold question is why. He has lost two popular elections, likely would lose again, and can’t count on the peculiarities of the electoral college to rescue him a second time. Even he must know that the stolen-election gambit won’t work. His fragile ego would be damaged by another loss, so why risk it? Two reasons occur to me.
The first is the hope that re-election, or even candidacy, would insulate him from his legal exposure, including potential indictments. The former might well have that result, but the latter is likely to be, at best, only partially effective. However, Trump could use his candidacy to claim that the suits and prosecutions are politically motivated, that evil liberals are out to get him, that fairness requires dismissal..
The second reason is that, even though he might lose again, from now until election day, or at least until he loses the nomination, he can hold rallies, be the center of attention and bask in the adulation of his fans. That seems to be his greatest need. (If he fails to be nominated, he might run as an independent or third-party candidate for the same reasons).
What are his chances of being nominated? There are signs that his support is declining. An early November poll which asked “Do you consider yourself to be more of a supporter of Donald Trump or more of a supporter of the Republican Party?” found 62% choosing the Party, 30% going for Trump. In August 2021, the corresponding numbers were 50% Party, 40% Trump; in January 2021, it was 46% each; in January 2019, 51% Trump, 38% Party.
The much-hyped red wave failed to materialize in this month’s elections, and many are blaming Trump, whose favored candidates did not fare well. Some of his prominent allies have abandoned him or waffled. Rep. Mo Brooks declared recently that it would be a mistake for Republicans to nominate Trump again, adding “Donald Trump has proven himself to be dishonest, disloyal, incompetent, crude and a lot of other things that alienate so many independents and Republicans.” Much of Trump’s support was transactional, so it is no surprise that his weakness has led to second thoughts.
He has lost the support of the Murdoch media empire, and some donors have backed away. Losing the support of evangelicals would be especially damaging, and there is some indication that may be happening.
We may be rid of him eventually, but that’s not enough; the Party needs to change.
53. https://thehill.com/homenews/3722608-record-number-of-republicans-support-party-over-trump-nbc- poll/
55. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/nov/15/murdoch-press-turns-on-donald-trump-in-favour- of-defuture-ron-desantis