On the Edge of an Abyss

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by D.W. Wilber, America Outloud:

The supporters of former President Trump are absolutely correct about one thing. If every single Republican pledged their allegiance to him and fell in line, he’d win the nomination easily. But he’d also lose the general election again. He does not receive enough support from outside the traditional Republican and MAGA base to win in 2024.

Hillary Clinton beat Trump by roughly three million in the popular vote in 2016. While Trump indeed did win the election by taking the required two hundred seventy electoral votes, just a few thousand votes in each of the key swing states would have changed that outcome into a Hillary Clinton landslide victory in 2016. The Democrat’s ‘ground game‘ in the important swing states has been a huge emphasis for their party ever since, so that a repeat Republican victory based solely on the Electoral College likely won’t happen again.

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In the 2020 election, a good percentage of Biden’s votes were from people voting ‘against Trump,’ not ‘for Biden.’ Many of those are the same voters that Trump or any Republican candidate would need to try to attract, and get to come over to the Republican side in order to win in the general election.

Our country is equally divided politically. A recent Gallup Poll revealed that forty-nine percent of votes describe themselves as “politically independent,” roughly equal to the two major parties combined. These ‘Independents‘ are the people who determine our elections.

When they are offered what appears to be a reasonable alternative to Trump, they will vote for that candidate. The Democrats are already preparing to package and sell (with the help of their news media allies and Hollywood), a candidate (other than Joe Biden), who will be presented as a ‘moderate, and a reasonable alternative’ just like the closet Marxist Barack Obama was packaged and sold to Americans back in 2008.

Whomever the Republicans nominate will certainly be attacked by the Democrats and the biased news media, but the visceral hatred of Trump is unparalleled. Trump will be viciously attacked in TV campaign ads twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. With very unflattering video clips, carefully edited in some cases, but many provided to them free of charge courtesy of former President Trump himself.

Trump also does not have the ‘coattails‘ he likes to claim that he has. Not that many voters like to split their ballot anyway; call it confusion, uncertainty, or just plain laziness. But they are more likely than not to just vote a straight ticket, with their favored presidential candidate at the top of the ballot. All of the other candidates for political office benefit from having a strong candidate leading the ticket.

There’s a large percentage that simply cannot stand Trump and will refuse to vote for him. They will likely vote for a straight Democrat ticket when Democrats offer their reasonable alternative at the top of the ballot. Very likely costing Republicans the Congress and denying them control of the Senate. No “Red Wave” once again.

Unfortunately, former President Trump doesn’t even make any effort to try to reach out to these potential ‘independent’ voters. He simply can’t moderate his behavior in order to attract them, so his default is to focus his efforts solely on keeping his MAGA die-hard supporters in the fold. They accept him no matter how outrageous his antics are. But there simply aren’t enough of them to carry Trump to victory.

I predict right now (hoping I’m wrong), that if former President Trump does not legitimately win the Republican nomination, he’s going to claim that “it was all rigged against him because he was leading everyone by 60% in the polls, there’s no way he could have lost“.

He’ll see himself as similar to former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt, who ran as the ‘Bull Moose Party’ candidate back in 1912 (an election Roosevelt lost, by the way). If no candidate gets the required two hundred seventy electoral votes, Congress will decide the president. Trump will not be selected, regardless of whether Republicans control Congress, and especially if Democrats take control.

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