April 16, 2024

At This Point, Should Trump Have Pulled 90% in South Carolina?

Here’s a valid question to think about. If everyone pretty much knows that former President Donald Trump is going to win in 2024, shouldn’t he have done even better in South Carolina, since he’s inevitable?

That’s the thought you get when reading this opinion column at Red State:

There is no sign that the GOP is starting to coalesce around Trump’s candidacy because there is no sign that the Trump campaign wants that support.

The key element missing from Trump’s campaign is any hint that it recognizes that he needs the support of voters who are not Trump loyalists to win. Indeed, Trump’s campaign seems more fixated on maligning Haley and even DeSantis, who is no longer in the race, and their supporters than building bridges. The operating principle seems to be that they think no matter the lies, abuse, and invective directed at them, everyone will come home to Trump in November because of Biden. I think this underestimates the degree to which many Republicans and conservatives actively dislike Trump and how many will vote for Joe Biden on not voting the top line on the ballot rather than supporting Trump.

OPINION: Trump’s Win in South Carolina Is a Warning Not a Triumph

My initial reaction to this is that it sounds like another Anti-Trumper denying the inevitable. Trump is set to win the GOP nomination in a walk, but there will always be people (Republicans and others) who do not want him as President. So, they will set the bar very high for Trump to try to give any reason why someone else should be running or justify their support of someone else.

I think there’s an overall dislike on the Republican side to do what the Democrats do flawlessly when they want to win. For another example, another author at Red State suggested that Republicans should play hardball with the budget. He offered the following strategy:

  1. Offer a bill that returns spending to 2019 levels — which will get rejected.
  2. In the run-up to March 1, claim that the Dems don’t want to keep the gov’t open and campaign on Dem’s closing gov’t
  3. Right before the deadline, offer a bill with a 1% cut across the board as a compromise.
  4. Claim victory on cutting the budget.

The GOP always seems to start negotiating with what they want, they don’t take advantage of the news cycle, and they always give in to Dem’s demands. Just as Trump stated he’d take responsibility for a shutdown while he was President and had the houses of Congress. Biden and the Dems need to own it.

Trump is probably right– the polls seem to show that Dems and Independents are breaking for him in a big way. We could be in the middle of a realignment of sorts. If the GOPe sits out or votes Biden, there’d be good reason to argue that they aren’t Republicans any way, because they don’t seem to want to win. So why would Trump try to court them?

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