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Donald Trump is at his weakest political position in years (Analysis)

Donald Trump is at his weakest political position in years (Analysis)

(CNN) — Former President Donald Trump has made another offer. announced last week Grover is trying to become the second man, after Cleveland, to be elected president of the United States in a row.

Trump’s move comes at a time when his political brand is at its weakest since his first presidential bid in 2015-2016. He is a force to be reckoned with in Republican circles, and in news of the Justice Department Appointed a special prosecutor Overseeing investigations into former presidents could have a pro-Trump effect among Republicans. But it is clear that his strength within the party has waned since then 2022 mid-term elections.

The easiest way to tell that Trump’s position isn’t what it once was is to look at the reaction to his 2024 presidential announcement. Officials elected by the Republican Party And conservative media figures gave him a big yawn.

Trump’s announcement won him support from some elected officials on Capitol Hill. He recalled Trump’s first run for office in 2015-2016 It initially received little support from lawmakers In Congress. The difference this time is that Trump is a former leader of the party endorsed by most Republican members of Congress in 2020, rather than a political neophyte like he was seven years ago.

Instead, it appears that there are already several senators (one) who, like Trump, are supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Because this is important Historically the endorsements of party executives have been correlated With the victory of the presidential election.

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I should point out that lack of approval didn’t stop Trump in 2016, and it won’t stop him this time either.

However, Trump’s first offer may be a variation. He was up against a dozen rivals who split support among the conservative political class. This is especially a problem in Republican primaries, which can be problematic Winner Takes All (or More), unlike Democratic primaries, which award delegates on a proportional basis. Trump needed less than half of the Republican vote to quickly amass that many delegates in 2016.

You may not get the same split resistance in the 2024 cycle. DeSantis is Trump’s only obvious rival.

The Florida Governor Rises This may be the most important development in the 2024 Republican field. Trump still leads in many national primary polls, but DeSantis is doing better in early national polls than any non-Trump candidate in the 2016 primary cycle.

In his home state of Florida, DeSantis has outperformed Trump in nearly every poll. In CNN exit poll Among Florida’s 2022 midterm voters, more Republicans wanted DeSantis to run in 2024 than Trump.

DeSantis’ lead in Florida is significant for several reasons, including the fact that the state has the largest number of Republican delegates who will likely be appointed the winner.

First, Florida is Trump’s home state and the only place where the two men are on par in terms of name recognition. DeSantis’ lead is a sign that Republicans across the country may move toward him as they get to know him better. (DeSantis Tends to get a favorable rating higher than Trump nationally among Republicans who know both well).

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Second, in the 2016 primary, Sen. Trump wins Florida against Marco Rubio The fact that DeSantis now leads him in the polls is a sign that Trump is in a weaker position than he was in 2016.

But Trump’s problems go beyond party officials and pollsters. Trump was able to challenge conventional wisdom in 2016 because he received Lots of media attention. Basically, it eliminated the competition.

This time it won’t be so easy. I pointed out earlier DeSantis has shown a knack for garnering a lot of media attention on Fox News. Trump’s name Not mentioned until page 26 Rupert Murdoch (his editorial page is tilted to the right) Murdoch runs the New York Post’s Fox News organization the day after his 2024 announcement.

And if Trump wins the primary, he still needs to win the general election. As the midterms of 2022 proved, it was not easy.

I mentioned last week Trump’s presence is one of the main reasons Democrats did surprisingly well in the midterms. By making both headlines and acting as a quasi-incumbent president, Trump has helped nullify the typically large advantage the opposition has in midterm elections with an unpopular incumbent in the White House.

Now, you might imagine a universe in which Trump’s larger-than-life personality would have been useful if he had been popular.

Instead, Trump’s favorability rating is at one of its lowest points in five years: 39%, According to the 2022 survey. This compares to a 46% favorable rating in a 2020 exit poll and a 45% approval rating of his administration in a 2018 exit poll.

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You can imagine that in a presidential election where Trump’s name is actually on the ballot, his unpopularity is an even bigger factor.

We already know from history that it won’t be easy for Trump. While incumbent presidents (like Joe Biden) are at a disadvantage in midterm elections, they benefit from their tenure in presidential elections. Elected incumbents win more than 60% when running for another term.

The bottom line is that Trump will outperform him in 2024 in both the Republican primary and the general election. He can certainly win a second term, but the odds are currently stacked against him.