Donald Trump has no
chance of winning the 2024 presidency. I'm so certain of that, I will
retreat into silence and obscurity and never write again if I'm
wrong. Every available metric points to Trump's defeat, yet he won't
stop. The one thing a Trump candidacy will accomplish is another Joe Biden
victory, or the victory of any Democrat who takes Biden's place in
the event of his resignation. For Donald Trump, there is not a single
road that leads to victory. Well, maybe there is one, but it has a
very small likelihood of happening.
Here are the scenarios.
Trump As A
Republican (Biden Wins)
Trump has a better than
good chance of winning the GOP nomination, but only among a medium to
large slate of candidates. Among a small slate, Trump could be
defeated and massive losses in the next election could be avoided—but
we shouldn't hold our breath. There will be more than a few
Republicans arrogant enough to think they can beat him. That will be
the great detriment to the GOP leading into 2024.
In a small slate, made
up of one no-name, DeSantis and Pence, Trump could be defeated in the
GOP primaries. Anything larger than four total candidates sets the
GOP up for a repeat of the 2016 primaries that saw Trump win the
delegates he needed with less than 40% of the vote. The larger the
slate, the bigger Trump's chances of winning.
The ideal match-up
would be a clear cut duel between DeSantis and Trump. But we can't
count on that happening. If it does—and Trump sees himself losing
to DeSantis—he will bring about the second scenario. Trump will
bring about the second scenario in any event in which he sees himself
losing the Republican primaries.
Trump As An
Independent (Biden Wins)
If Trump knows he can't
win the primaries, he will jump off the ship and into his own life
raft. He will either start his own party, join an existing party, or
run as an independent. In such an event, we would see a repeat of
1992, when George Bush lost to Bill Clinton because Ross Perot split
the conservative votes.
This kind of
presidential race (Biden-Trump-DeSantis) would be worse than if Trump
were to win the GOP nomination. A DeSantis GOP would have to work
extra hard to defeat two opponents, while Biden's Democrats would
sail to a decisive re-election.
The only way for
Republicans to win in this scenario would be for a heavy-hitting,
high profile independent opponent to split the liberal votes and to
level the playing field on both sides. Some have suggested Kanye West
could be such a candidate—however, he could act only to bleed more
support from Trump's base than from Biden's.
Even a lower to medium
profile candidate, similar to Ralph Nader, could bleed enough support
from Democrats to open the door ajar for DeSantis.
(Biden Loses, Maybe)
If Trump runs outside
the GOP, Democrats will need a powerful opponent. This is the only
way for Republicans to take the White House. Ralph Nader was a strong
candidate prior to 2004, when he ran against Clinton, Dole and Perot
in 1996 and against Bush and Gore in 2000, but his lustre has since
worn off. There could be, however, other candidates to match his
strength in 2024.
Bernie Sanders has a
close relationship with Democrats and his fear of Republicans could
dissuade him from running as an independent, but never say never.
Sanders is one of three independent senators at the moment and he has
the pull and popularity to bleed Biden dry in the 2024 general
election. In the worst case, he could potentially win the presidency
as an independent.
Angus King is another
left-leaning independent serving as senator for Maine. He was once
the governor of Maine and he caucuses with Democrats.
Howard Stern has hinted
at running for president and could act as the left's own version of
Trump. He has expressed interest in running as an independent,
stating his dissatisfaction with both parties. Stern vowed his
intention to run after the Supreme Court overturned Roe-Wade,
promising to abolish the Electoral College and reform the Supreme
Andrew Yang would be
the most promising and level-headed alternative to Joe Biden in 2024.
Trump's win over
Hillary Clinton in 2016 was narrow. He won by a razor thin margin in
both Michigan and Pennsylvania, making his win look like a fluke
against an equally unpopular Democrat candidate. Had his opponent
been more popular and appealing to younger generations, Trump would
have lost in 2016.
Hillary was so
unpopular, Democrats lost their enthusiasm in some important swing
states. Moreover, their cockiness and arrogance led them to believe
they were going to beat Donald Trump in a landslide. This diminished
any urgency that could have helped Hillary beat Trump where she
needed to beat him. Democrats miscalculated Trump's chances and hurt
their own. In 2020, they learned their lessons and turned up in loads
to vote Trump out. (This is the reality, whether MAGA nation wants to
believe it or not.)
In 2016, Trump narrowly
beat Hillary in Michigan by only 10,704 votes. In 2012, Obama took
Michigan over Romney by 449,313 votes. In Pennsylvania, Trump beat
Hillary by only 44,292 votes. Obama beat Romney there by 309,840
votes. Beating a Democrat in either of these states in
notable, but Hillary's hubris and Democrats' lack of enthusiasm were
two factors that probably won't ever happen again.
Trump was a lesson for
Democrats and they have learned from their own mistakes. Now it's the
GOP's turn to shift gears and to change their strategy. But, will
they? I'm not betting on it.