Trump is Once Again Becoming the GOP’s Golden Boy
South Carolina Senator and Trump supporter Lindsey Graham commented that Trump "seems to be" consolidating his support within the party.
Former presidents of the United States who have lost elections tend not to become party leaders and re-electable candidates.
Donald Trump has circumvented the problem by insisting he won the 2020 election. The majority of Republican voters have responded positively to this effort, which has swung the 2024 nomination race in his favor.
Donald Trump has positioned himself as the incumbent in exile, maintaining a perceived status as the current president among his followers. He has also been portrayed as a martyr, allegedly victimized by unknown and elusive forces, and as the rightful heir to the presidency whom a deceitful usurper unjustly displaced.
Recent polls show that among Republican primary voters, Trump has a commanding lead over his nearest rivals, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Equally as significant, former President Donald Trump has a strong and growing base of support inside the Republican Party.
The most recent survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal found that potential Republican primary voters gave Trump 48% of the support in a field of 12 GOP candidates, with DeSantis coming in second with 24%. Trump prevails over DeSantis 51% to 38% in a hypothetical head-to-head fight between the two candidates.
Other recent polls have revealed the same pattern as well, including one from Quinnipiac University that was conducted at the end of March and shows Trump with 47% of the vote in a field of 15 Republican candidates, followed by DeSantis with 33% of the vote, and with Trump holding a comparable advantage over DeSantis in a contest between the two candidates.
Republicans in the Senate think that former President Trump is increasing his popularity inside the Republican Party and now seems to have a greater chance of being the party's candidate in 2024 despite the legal issues he is currently facing.
Since the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg indicted Trump on March 30, his advantage in the polls over his nearest competitor, the Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis, has increased by a factor of two.
Recently, DeSantis has made mention of the Republican Party's "culture of losing," which can be interpreted as a subtle yet apparent allusion to Trump. If the governor perceives the need to restrain his actions prior to officially entering the competition, it is justifiable. Indirectly addressing this matter would be a wrong approach. The former US President, Donald Trump, failed to secure the support of swing voters, resulting in his electoral defeat. In an effort to deflect from this outcome, he has resorted to embracing various conspiracy theories. Governor DeSantis successfully garnered support from swing voters and emerged victorious in his most recent election without any apparent cause for personal shame. The significant discrepancy observed should be a prominent feature in the governor's campaign.
During that period, the former president still received a number of high-profile endorsements from members of Congress, including the backing of Steve Daines, the Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (R-Montana).
Republican senators and GOP strategists believe that the support of Daines is evidence that Trump is the frontrunner to win the Republican nominee for president in 2024.
They claim that the head of the Republican campaign arm for the Senate would want to establish a productive working relationship with him to increase the prospects of the Republican Party regaining control of the Senate.
In my opinion, his nomination is a foregone conclusion. Indeed, I do. The nomination will likely go to him. One Republican senator who hasn't endorsed a candidate in the primary but spoke on the condition of anonymity said, "I'd be stunned if he's not."
You've read the statistics. I have engaged with voters. More and more people are starting to see it. The support of Steve Daines reflects this truth. We'd like him to work with us, and he's our nominee, so he's on board with that," the senator went on.
National polls analyzed by RealClearPolitics showed Trump with a 16-point lead over DeSantis on March 30, the day Bragg indicted him in New York. By May 1st, Trump was leading his opponent by an average of nearly 30 points in the polls.
South Carolina Senator and Trump supporter Lindsey Graham recently commented that Bush "seems to be" consolidating his support within the party.
If you believe polling and hear it from people on the ground, he is undoubtedly gaining support. The New York prosecution may have inspired some of these actions. He said he got a boost from being the target of an unhinged left-wing prosecutor.
Does he continue to maintain this? I'm on his side, but I'm keeping an open mind to see how DeSantis acts. Will he or will he not run? Which campaign does he launch if he enters the race? Graham included.
Given the former president's massive polling lead, some of Trump's supporters believe that DeSantis may ultimately decide not to challenge Trump.
On Friday, DeSantis said he plans to decide "relatively soon."
At a press conference, he said, "You've got to put up or shut up on that."
Another Republican senator who remains impartial but who also prefers to remain anonymous said that Trump is the clear favorite for the upcoming election. According to the senator, Daines wants to be the first in line to endorse Trump in the hopes of working with him to help flip the Senate.
In reference to the 2016 general election, the lawmaker speculated, "I assume Trump will be the candidate" for the Republican presidential ticket.
Daines, along with Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Bill Hagerty (R-Ga.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), have recently announced their support for Trump's third presidential run.
According to a Republican strategist, Daines wants to get along with Trump so that they can unite behind the most viable candidates in the 2018 Senate primaries.
A political strategist has observed that Daines "appears to be working on trying to point Trump to some of the stronger candidates in Senate races."
Shortly after Trump officially launched his presidential campaign in November, one Republican senator who had previously endorsed him told The Hill that he had doubts about Trump's electability.
The lawmaker said he was going to hold off until after the 2020 election to see if Trump could get over his claims of widespread fraud.
Concerns among Senate Republicans about Trump's electability against President Biden have subsided, but he continues to claim, without evidence, that he lost the last election because of fraud.
Trump and Biden tied in a hypothetical matchup in an April 29–May 2 Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 adults across the country, while Biden led DeSantis by three points.
"Not only is Donald Trump doing well in the primary, and he's the clear frontrunner in the primary, but he's also beating Joe Biden in the general election, 47 to 43," said Jim McLaughlin, Trump's pollster, of his firm's polls on a hypothetical rematch of the 2020 election.
In both 2016 and 2020, he said, "Our polling never had [Trump] ahead in general."
People supposed to be intelligent often fail to grasp the reasons for Trump's enduring popularity among his core supporters. This is because his presidency was so fruitful. Voters shared his views," he continued.
DeSantis, who has not formally announced his plans to run for president, has not yet secured any strong Senate support, while Trump has collected 11 endorsements from Senate Republicans.
On April 18, 2019, Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee hosted a meet-and-greet for DeSantis in Washington. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) was the only other senator to attend; he later stated that he would not be endorsing anyone in the Republican presidential primary next year.
There are Republicans in the Senate who don't think it's wise to write off Trump as their nominee in 2024 just yet.
"I anticipate substantial swings in the polls. They already have. DeSantis held the lead after the month of November. Now Trump is in the lead. Given the current state of the electorate, I believe that national polls are likely to be somewhat deceptive. Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.) opposed efforts by Trump allies to object to the certification of Biden's 2020 victory on January 6, saying, "Presidential stuff is all state by state."
Although Thune conceded that Trump "has got a formidable position" and "he's got a very loyal following," he argued, "I think there are an awful lot of people there that are up for grabs too."
Presuming that charges from the Department of Justice and the Fulton County district attorney in Georgia would have more credibility than those from Bragg, prominent Republican pollster Whit Ayres said that the possibility of additional indictments against Trump could swing the race away from Trump.
In response to GOP senators' claims that Trump will easily win next year's primary, he said, "People seem to have an inevitable tendency to jump to premature conclusions well before we know many of the key elements of a campaign environment."
Trump could face felony charges alleging that he incited the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol and attempted to interfere with the 2020 election in Georgia. "What might be the political effects of serious felony indictments backed by a mountain of compelling evidence?" he asked.
Do you think Republican voters will ignore multiple felony indictments supported by strong evidence if they happen? Perhaps, but I couldn't tell you for sure," he admitted.
However, Graham, one of Trump's closest Hill allies, argued that Trump is running a more disciplined campaign, increasing his appeal to voters.
The more he emphasizes the differences between his administration and President Joe Biden, the better off he will be. That investment is starting to pay off," he said.
Graham said, in response to a question about the endorsement of Trump by the Chairman of the Senate Republicans' campaign arm, "I think Steve understands — I know he has a close relationship with him, but he sees Trump as the most likely nominee."
The National Wall Street Journal poll surveyed registered voters to determine their preference in hypothetical matchups between Biden and the leading Republican candidates. According to the survey results, in the presence of Trump as a candidate, 48% of the respondents expressed their inclination towards voting for Biden, either definitely or probably, whereas 45% favored Trump.
According to the survey results, when DeSantis was included as a candidate, 48% of respondents preferred the Republican candidate, while 45% opted for Biden.
The margins mentioned above resemble the results obtained by Quinnipiac a few weeks prior, wherein Biden held the lead over Trump by 48% to 46%, and DeSantis held the lead over Biden by 48% to 46%.
Swing state polling released this week shows a similar dynamic, too, including three recent polls from the Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies reported on across various outlets (note: POS is the Republican half of the NBC News bipartisan polling outfit).
According to a recent poll conducted by POS, which surveyed 500 registered voters in Michigan, DeSantis is currently leading Biden with a 45% to 43% margin. However, the same poll indicates that Biden is leading Trump with a 45% to 42% margin. The Dispatch reported this information on Friday.
According to recent reports by McClatchy, DeSantis holds the lead over Biden in Pennsylvania by 45% to 42% and Arizona by 48% to 42%. Conversely, Biden holds a lead over Trump in Pennsylvania by 46% to 42% and in Arizona by 45% to 44%.
The current stage is in its preliminary phase. The Republican Party is expected to select its nominee in approximately one year's time, and Governor DeSantis has yet to make an official announcement regarding his candidacy. Consequently, he has not had the opportunity to establish his identity and reputation on a national level, nor has he been subject to external characterization.
The appearance of Trump resembles that of a previous president who departed from office with a favorable standing among his political party, and subsequent events have had minimal impact on this perception. Regarding his recent legal disputes, a majority of individuals assert that one reason for supporting him is to demonstrate solidarity during those legal battles.