With the runoff election for Georgia’s seat now over, it is abundantly clear that despite not being on any ballot Donald Trump is the biggest loser in the midterm election that ought to have been a biblical bloodbath for the Democratic Party.
This is all happening as Trump continually suffers one legal setback after another, with his company having just been found guilty of tax fraud, while the prospect of criminal charges at both the federal and state level have reached a crescendo such that it is almost unthinkable that he will not be arrested at least once within the next year. However, as much as the conservative media and even a growing number of Republican voters themselves might like to move on from Trump as he goes down in flames, the fact is that even if they do he’s still going to take the GOP down with him.
That Trump is politically toxic has been evident for some time now. He lost the popular vote in both general elections by large margins and only won the Electoral College in 2016 by less than 80,000 votes spread across three highly contested states. The 2018 midterm election during his presidency saw his party lose control of the House and his failed 2020 re-election campaign ultimately cost his party control over the Senate as well.
In this latest midterm election, we can again see how Trump’s toxicity has resulted in Republicans taking numerous losses from what should have been easy wins thanks to his backing of so many candidates that curried favor with him by backing “the Big Lie” that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
Even when his picks weren’t overt election deniers, Trump nevertheless showed a penchant for bewildering picks that cost the party dearly. In Pennsylvania Trump inexplicably decided to back a celebrity carpet bagger candidate best known for being a modern day snake oil salesman. Georgia was similarly upended by Trump’s meddling when he decided to back a man with a widely known history of domestic violence. When it comes to involving himself in elections, Trump has essentially developed a reverse Midas touch.
Nevertheless, the most likely scenario for now remains that Trump will win the 2024 GOP nomination for president. For one, a majority of the GOP electorate still backs him. Further, the GOP primary is designed to favor early favorites by delivering delegates in a winner take all or winner take most format to those who get a plurality of the vote. Which, perversely, the weaker Trump becomes the more likely other challengers jump in to the ring. This in turn fractures the opposition vote against him, making it more likely he wins the nomination with a meager plurality just as he did in 2016 against a historically crowded field.
No matter how Trump were to win the nomination, we must then consider that he will most likely be under indictment by then and will be doing everything in his power to delay a criminal trial for as long as possible. Even for someone who hadn’t already shown themselves to be a weak and scandal prone candidate, winning an election under these circumstances would be a lift Hercules himself couldn’t make.
Now, let’s imagine for a moment that there exists a possibility where Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, or any other Republican challenger for that matter, was somehow able to unite the party behind them in order to deny Trump the 2024 Republican nomination. In what reality does anyone see Trump as being a good team player after such a humiliating defeat?
Trump has already overtly threatened the Republican Party once before that he’d start a third party to destroy their electoral prospects after he thought they were insufficiently loyal to him in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection. Losing the2024 nomination would virtually guarantee that Trump would focus all his fire on taking down the Republican nominee if only so that he could spend the remainder of his golden years telling everyone that he would have won had the GOP elites not cheated him.
Republicans simply do not have a winning hand to play when it comes to Trump. They can either embrace him, aflame as he is, and suffer another burning loss in 2024 with him at the top of the ticket, or they can scorn him and have him wage a scorched-earth-war against them.
Source : News Week