The media are so desperate to get Donald Trump the Republican presidential nomination that they’re acting like the fat lady has sung — and they don’t mean Chris Christie. They refer to Trump exclusively as the “front-runner” and gloatingly note that he’s dominating the polls so they can sneer at Republican voters for their cultlike devotion to a psychopath.
Trump is the David Duke of this election cycle. The media’s usual attack on Republican presidential candidates is to tar them with Duke, endlessly asking them to “disavow” him, despite the fact that they don’t know Duke, have never mentioned him and, for all anyone knows, he died several years ago.
This year, every Republican candidate has to answer endless questions about Trump.
Interviewing former Vice President Mike Pence on “Meet the Press” this past weekend, literally every question Chuck Todd asked was about Trump. Why are you running against Trump? Were the midterms about Trump? What do you think about Trump’s position on abortion? What do you think about Trump’s position on Social Security? What do you think about Trump’s position on Ukraine? Should Trump’s trial be completed before the election? What if Trump is found guilty? OK, let’s move off Trump and talk about your campaign. Do Trump supporters like you?
We get it, media. You dearly want Republicans to nominate him again so you can kick back and enjoy the GOP’s fourth consecutive loss.
Apparently, the media haven’t noticed, but Trump’s current status is: Wicked Witch of the West After Having Bucket of Water Dumped on Her.
The excuse that Trump is THE FRONT-RUNNER is preposterous. Polls 17 months before an election have as much predictive power as sticking your finger in the wind to determine what the weather will be on Boxing Day 2038. Until the voting starts — or at least until the debates begin — presidential polls are nothing but name-recognition contests.
Was every Republican required to stake out a position on Elizabeth Dole in 1999? One year before the 2000 election, Dole, the wife of the prior Republican presidential nominee, was nearly tied in polls with front-runner George W. Bush, son of the prior Republican president.
In 2007, the year before the next contested Republican presidential primary, poll after poll showed that the undisputed front-runner was world-famous former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Forty-four percent of Republicans said he had the best chance of winning and was the most “likable.” Actor Fred Thompson was in second place.
In December 2011, Newt Gingrich was far and away the leading contender for the 2012 presidential nomination, with Republicans favoring him 37% to Mitt Romney’s 22%.
In the end, I got as many delegates as Dole and Giuliani did. Gingrich won only two primaries — South Carolina and his home state of Georgia — coming in behind Ron Paul. President Thompson got nine delegates.
At this stage, most people aren’t paying attention to politics and have no idea who’s even running. They know (and care) as much about politics as I do about professional football. Pollsters will tell you that people think polls are IQ tests and they’re trying to get the answer right. Trump — wasn’t that guy president?
In a poll two months ago, 11% admitted to never having heard of Ron DeSantis. In another poll, 22% admitted to not having heard “enough” about DeSantis to have an opinion. Nobody hasn’t heard of Trump.
As the cliche goes, “The only poll that matters is the one taken on Election Day.” Not to be persnickety, but not one Republican has cast a vote yet. And based on the last three election cycles, it appears that actual voters would prefer any Republican to Trump.
Before the 2018 midterms, Trump said — accurately — that the elections were “a referendum about me.” Result: total wipeout. Democrats picked up 41 House seats, returning Nancy Pelosi to the speakership.
In 2020, there was a red wave everywhere — except for Trump. Across the nation, down-ballot Republicans got more votes than the incumbent president. In Texas, for example, Sen. John Cornyn won more votes than Trump — the first time a senator has bested a presidential candidate of the same party in two decades. Similarly, in California’s conservative Orange County, 10% of voters were ticket-splitters, supporting GOP congressional candidates but voting for Joe Biden as president.
In 2022, the terrible, awful, rotten midterms for the GOP, Republicans running for the House actually won the popular vote. According to The New York Times’ Nate Cohn, they improved upon Trump’s 2020 performance in nearly every state — including Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia and Nevada.
How could Republicans win the popular vote in the House races in these states, but not pick up Senate seats?
Only one reason: Trump’s ridiculous candidates, whom he chose based on their commitment to making the “stolen” 2020 election a central campaign issue — Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania, Kari Lake in Arizona, Herschel Walker in Georgia and Adam Laxalt in Nevada.
In each of those states, Republican House candidates won more votes than the Democrats. The GOP could have run an AI-generated “generic Republican” and won the Senate races — provided there was no mention of Trump.
Which is exactly why the media won’t stop talking about him.
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