Source: Hot Air
Yeah, I don’t know. He doesn’t look done to me.
2024 National Republican Primary Poll:
R. Scott 1%
T. Scott 0%
TIPP Insights ~ 575 RV ~ 8/2-8/4https://t.co/0bTH8Rt3kR
— PollTracker (@PollTrackerUSA) August 28, 2022
2024 National Republican Primary Poll:
T. Scott 1%
R. Scott 0%
McLaughlin & Associates ~ 461 LV ~ 8/20-8/24
— PollTracker (@PollTrackerUSA) August 26, 2022
He’s earning those numbers at a moment when he’s begun calling for a do-over of the 2020 election and Matt Drudge has taken to referring to him as “Dementing Don.” If he’s beating DeSantis by 40 points when he’s “done,” I’d hate to see the what margin looks like during a Trump renaissance.
Coulter has been attacking Trump from the right for years, foremost because he failed to build the wall. But she’s a keen advocate for electability in Republican candidates. Here are 90 seconds from her new 15-minute podcast on the topic of Trump citing Glenn Youngkin’s victory as evidence that the GOP doesn’t need Trump to win.
Conservative media is lying to you about Trump’s popularity.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) August 30, 2022
“Trump had nothing to do with that campaign”? Is that right?
If she means that he didn’t do any in-person rallies for Youngkin, she is. If she means that Trump didn’t do anything to help Youngkin, no. He did a tele-rally for him the night before the election and did a second tele-rally a few weeks earlier that was organized by allies on Youngkin’s behalf and featured Steve Bannon. More importantly, Trump endorsed Youngkin the day after he won the Virginia GOP’s nomination and kept on re-endorsing him for the next five months. Any MAGA fans who might have looked at Youngkin and worried that he resembled Mitt Romney more than Trump were reassured by Trump himself that it was okay to vote for Youngkin.
Youngkin also did plenty of pandering to them along Trumpy lines. He promised to build an “Election Integrity Taskforce” as governor, as if Joe Biden’s 10-point victory in deep blue Virginia might be the product of fraud. And he ran primary ads featuring Trump praising him by name for helping to negotiate a trade deal with China.
Most importantly, Youngkin never had to face Republican primary voters. He was nominated via a convention rather than a state primary, which conveniently left Youngkin’s ultra-Trumpy opponent, Amanda Chase, unable to turn out populist support to help her win. Essentially the state party “rigged” the primary by insisting on a format that improved Youngkin’s chances of winning instead of the unelectable Chase’s. And even then, if Trump had forcefully endorsed Chase before the convention, it’s anyone’s guess if the delegates would have dared nominate Youngkin anyway.
If you want to see how Republicans vote in states when the primary isn’t similarly rigged, go look at Kari Lake’s victory in Arizona or Doug Mastriano’s in Pennsylvania. Both of them were endorsed by Trump. So were J.D. Vance, Mehmet Oz, and Blake Masters, all of whom won their Senate primaries after receiving his endorsement despite struggling earlier in crowded fields. For a guy who’s supposedly done, Trump sure does seem to have a lot of influence.
And some of his influence isn’t clearly “visible,” but it’s there:
Even some candidates who didn’t face serious competition benefited from Trump’s support in the invisible primary, demonstrating his influence among GOP elites as well. For example, Trump’s very first endorsement of the cycle was of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, one of his former press secretaries, for Arkansas governor. At the time of his endorsement, there were two high-ranking Arkansas officeholders — Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge — in that race, but they eventually dropped out and cleared the field for Sanders. Likewise, Trump’s support for former football player Herschel Walker for Senate in Georgia probably prevented stronger candidates, like Rep. Buddy Carter, from entering the race (in fact, Walker, who until recently lived in Texas, may not have run at all without Trump’s urging).
If you listen to Coulter’s full podcast you’ll find her claiming that the reason Republican opinion is so solidly pro-Trump in polling is because so many anti-Trumpers have left the party and re-registered as independents. All that’s left is a rump MAGA-fanatic minority. There’s some truth to that, but so what? How does that help Ron DeSantis or some other potential Trump rival take him out in a national primary? If Trump gets a primary challenge he’ll demand that the RNC cancel the primaries and declare him the nominee by acclamation. And although he’s unlikely to prevail in that, he probably will prevail in demanding that all GOP primaries be closed so that independents and Democrats can’t cross over and vote in them. (“We must prevent the rigging of our nominations by voters who hate Republicans!”) If the only people who are eligible to vote are registered Republicans and registered Republicans as a group are overwhelmingly pro-Trump because everyone else has already left the GOP, what’s the strategy for stopping him? How is he “done”?
He may well be unelectable in the general election, when independents will get to render a verdict on him. But then again, he might not. Most of the right-wing independents who left the party to protest his ascendance will hold their noses and support him over any liberal. Coulter herself says in the podcast that “there are no good Democrats.” He can certainly be reelected again despite only 40 percent or so of the public viewing him favorably.
I mean, if it’s true that Trump is “done,” I invite anyone who works in Republican politics or conservative media with a lower profile than Ann Coulter to loudly endorse the Coulter thesis. See what happens to your career.
Exit quotation from Kellyanne Conway: “Those who want to move on from Trump, you go first. People are so obsessed with him, they don’t spend a minute learning what the 74 million Trump-Pence voters want in these midterm elections. That’s what I study every single day, but they’re so obsessed with Donald Trump. Anybody who wants the party to move on from Trump. I dare you, go first.”