“Somebody’s gotta win.”
Ever been to a sporting event where both teams or competitors were so inept and unskilled – and the level of competition so pathetic – that the spectators lost interest in the play on the field and someone stood up and shouted, “Come on, somebody’s gotta win”?
It’s never happened to me personally, but I know a similar feeling. I’ve attended many recreation league girls softball games where neither team’s pitcher could throw strikes, practically every batter walked and stole bases because the catchers couldn’t catch, and the league-mandated four-run per half inning limit rule was invariably cited when neither team could get any outs. Yes, it got that bad. But the kids still had fun, right?
And one of the teams always ended up winning.
These days, there are some who predict that the prospect of a 2024 presidential election rematch between incumbent Democrat president senile Joe Biden and former president and runaway 2024 Republican nomination race leader, Donald Trump, would devolve into a grudge match of non-epic proportions to determine who could avoid losing. No winners. Just losers.
It seems more pundits are being open about Biden’s faltering chances to earn a second term; and politics watchers have never been shy about dishing on how Trump is loathed by a high percentage of Americans, has a criminal charges rap sheet a mile long and can’t keep himself from cutting off his own nose to spite his face. The frequent refrain goes something like, “Trump is so damaged and hated by so many that he can’t possibly get back to the White House.”
The debate rages on in conservative circles, too. In a thought-provoking opinion piece titled “The Guy Who Can’t Win v. The Guy Who Will Lose”, the always controversy inspiring Kurt Schlichter wrote at Townhall the other day:
“Let’s examine why Trump can’t win. Here’s the big reason: About 53% of American voters hate him. They shouldn’t, not only because he was a generally good president but because you are not voting for Chief Pal but Chief Executive. I think his nickname is embarrassingly stupid, and I am bored by his social media rants, but neither matter. Will he kill our enemies, pump the economy, and own the libs? Yes, yes and yes. I support Ron DeSantis because I think he’s more likely to win in general and because he’s more ruthlessly conservative, but if Trump somehow wins, I will Lionel Richie it and party all night long. I think he’s got a 20% chance of winning, and I would be thrilled to be wrong...
“Let’s examine why Biden must lose. First, he’s a terrible president. The economy sucks. The border sucks. We’re on the verge of new wars Trump would never have let happen. People are sick of him. He’s as popular as toe fungus on Valentine’s Day at Quentin Tarantino’s condo...
“[T]he problem for both campaigns is what might happen and what has happened. The voters’ impressions of Trump and Biden are seared into their consciousness. Those are not going to change. They are fixed, and for the majority, they are distinctly negative. That’s the problem. Neither candidate can win, and both are inevitably going to lose.”
As always, Schlichter has a unique way of synopsizing things, but even he would admit, in a moment of candor, that one of the candidates will win the 2024 election. Biden’s poll numbers have slumped so low that even some Democrats say he’s slouching towards un-electability, but it’s only within the context of calling for a new party nominee. I don’t think they really believe it. Or senile Joe would be gone in an instant.
They know that the American electorate demonstrated in 2020 that it’s willing, given the right spin-job by the media and corresponding set of lies told by Democrats with an agenda, to vote en masse for any bag of flesh and bones as long as they promise the right things to the right people. Back then, I had a person who I otherwise respect tell me, “Joe Biden is a good man who cares about America.” Does said person still think it?
And yes, the polls for Trump look promising. The highly respectable Sean Trende (of Real Clear Politics) wrote this week that Trump can win, and right now, he would be considered the favorite to do so.
Would an opinion like Trende’s change Schlichter’s mind about Trump’s electability – perhaps bump up Trump’s chances to an even 50%? I doubt Kurt would alter his opinion so easily, but we’ll see in the coming months.
I’d also argue that the polls are wrong – again – and the good numbers Trump is enjoying recently are deceptive, namely that his overall lead vis-à-vis Biden is even larger than the data indicates. Trump, when he’s the candidate on the ballot, has typically overperformed his polling numbers for a variety of reasons. Why would this change now?
For example, is there still a “Trump effect” on polls – namely, that survey respondents are hesitant to openly state, to a stranger calling on a cell phone, that they’re planning to vote for Trump? Here’s guessing most people who casually follow American politics would dismiss the idea that anyone would be reluctant to say in public that they like Trump.
After all, the man leads the Republican party presidential race primary polls by what, fifty-ish points? If there are “shy” Trump backers still out there, then they must’ve gone through extensive counseling and coaching to help them get beyond their political hesitation, because Trump is doing better than ever in terms of polling.
But I would additionally argue that the “Trump effect” remains very real in some ways. Why? Because of who is currently in charge of federal law enforcement (Joe Biden and Merrick Garland, et al), a federal court system that places gag orders on a former president and charges him with incitement crimes merely for speaking, the ongoing judicial witch hunt involving Trump himself and well over a thousand January 6 political prisoners facing official sanction – and because folks are still scared that they’ll be socially ostracized for being Trump fans.
I personally know a good amount of people who adhere to the “Trump can’t/won’t win” mantra, and, at least outwardly, are unwilling to let go of it. These are individuals, mind you, but they all seem to share a common set of characteristics. They’re basically pessimistic people to begin with, generally have long memories, read establishment media publications (like the Wall Street Journal) religiously and profoundly reject opinions that don’t match their worldview.
They see news reports on the legions of “Joe Biden voters” on college campuses, welfare dependents, climate kooks clogging intersections, Democrat politicians screeching “racism” in every direction, taxes on everything, peaceful pro-life protesters being hounded by the FBI and DOJ, transgender nonsense is everywhere – and it’s hard to be hopeful for the future. They think it’s too much for one man to overcome, especially one who is so widely reviled as Trump is.
That being said, I also know a sizeable sampling of informed folks who are unabashed Trump fans, the type who never even thought about his electability as a consideration and didn’t seriously look at any of the not-Trump candidates in the 2024 field. Like with the previous classification, these are individuals, but for the majority of them, they have a hard time getting beyond the 2020 election and wholeheartedly believe that Trump not only won the last election (and was therefore cheated out of his second term), but truth and justice demand that Trump be granted another shot to assume what was rightly his.
Would the “only Trump” marchers talk to pollsters? I think most of them would, but the cynicism among them runs deep, too. It used to be the hippies asserting, “Don’t trust anyone over 30”; now it’s conservatives and Republicans maintaining, “Don’t trust anyone from the government, establishment media (including pollsters) and those with ties to the swamp.” They can’t be identified on sight, but I’d bet they’re out there in large numbers.
Skepticism from all conservatives is entirely justified. Trump doesn’t appear to be making it any easier to see him as a sure-thing Republican candidate. The 2016 and 2020 GOP nominee continues to toss over-the-top bombs at his intra-party competitors (primarily Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley these days) rather than directing his negative energy mostly at the Democrats and the DC Uniparty.
Trump himself isn’t nearly as visible as he has been, traditionally. He received some headlines and a little coverage by showing up at last week’s Clemson/University of South Carolina football game – and he’s done sporadic interviews and his usual TRUTH Social posts, but where is he? Trump isn’t dominating the news cycles like he’s always done, which must be galling to the candidate himself. Is he purposely staying out of the news now?
If so, the strategy appears to be working (where polling is involved), which further eats into the general belief that he can’t win because people hate him so passionately. Perhaps a new way to see it is that Trump is allowing senile Joe to disembowel his own candidacy before the world, which is a tried-and-true method to gaining in political favor.
Schlichter could be correct that senile Joe Biden can’t win, but he’s off base by saying Trump will lose. The proverbial jury’s still out on whether Trump will win the 2024 election, but it’s far from a foregone conclusion in either direction, no matter what happens to the man personally.
Somebody has to win next year’s election, and there’s no chance it will be someone other than the two major party nominees. Both senile Joe Biden and Donald Trump have flaws, but neither of them is completely out of it the way a sports team becomes when the game ends and the score is in the other side’s favor. The voters will decide. Things could change quickly. There’s a long way to go.
Joe Biden economy
Biden cognitive decline
January 6 Committee
Build Back Better
Marjorie Taylor Green
2024 presidential election