|Too Many Already||
9 March 2023
Cogito Ergo Non Serviam
The Republican Party presidential nomination in 2024 has just three lane open for candidates, three different paths to the nomination. Whoever wins the party nod will have to take one of them, and the path taken will help define the future of the party and the nation into the 2030s. This journal has noted that the more candidates running the better the chances of Donald Trump become to win. It has become clear that there will be more that a few people challenging Mr. Trump for the nomination. If the idea is to stop Mr. Trump, the winnowing process needs to start very soon.
The three lanes are pretty clear to anyone who has considered the matter. The first belongs to Mr. Trump alone. It is the Trump lane, and it exists because he is the two-time nominee and former president. In recent polls, he is way ahead of all other rivals. In some instances, he is well above 50%. No other candidate has the kind of influence over the electorate, for worse or even worse.
The second lane is the Trumpis-without-Trump lane. There are a great many voters who liked the policies of the Trump administration. Whether it was the irresponsible tax cuts, the cruelty of dealing with the immigration problem ("You gotta take the kids" away from asylum-seeking parents), or the head-in-the-sand approach to foreign policy. What these people dislike is Mr. Trump himself.
Mr. Trump is a rather awful human being. He is petty, vindictive, ignorant, and so much more that is unpleasant. One would not put him up for membership at the Mickey Mouse Club let alone the Athenaeum. There is a section of the GOP electorate (and the general election voters as well) who would be much happier with a different messenger for the same message.
The third lane is the anti-Trump lane. One might call this the Bush-wing of the party or as Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland said when he bowed out of the race without actually entering it the Republican Wing of the Republican Party. Fiscal responsibility (in theory rather than practice), strong national defense through multi-party alliances, pro-police (rather than what happened on January 6, 2021), small government (again in theory rather than practice) are the foundation of this approach. It may be called Pre-Trump Republicanism or simply Reaganism.
Thus far the first two are the only lanes occupied. Clearly, Mr. Trump in is the Trump lane. Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, Governor Ron DeSantis and Governor Glenn Youngkin. What is missing is an anti-Trump candidate.
Professor Larry J. Sabato of the University of Virginia runs one of the finest psephological operations in the universe. He notes that Mr. DeSantis is the chief alternative to Mr. Trump in most polls despite the fact that he has not announce he is in the race as yet. Between them, they get about 75% of the support. That leaves about 25% for the anti-Trump lane. If one presumes Mr. Trump is good for just 30%, that would leave 45% for the Non-Trump Trumpist. With four already in that lane, there really is not room for more than 2 of them before they drop so far below the leader that they become untenable. As for the third lane, one is probably all it can support.
Based on this, it is fair to say that there are already too many candidates to stop Mr. Trump. Winnowing it down is vital. The voters, however, are not going to do this. It must come from the GOP donors. They need to decide who their candidate is and starve the others of funds as much as possible.
The GOP did not change its primary calendar as the Democrats did. Iowa will still be their first contest, and it takes place on February 5, 2024. If there are still a half dozen or so candidates in the race by then, it is almost certain that Mr. Trump will be the nominee, even if he is on trial for his many alleged felonies.
© Copyright 2023 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.