It took a year, but the Republican Party has decided that Joe didn’t steal the election from Trump last year. This came in a statement from RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel who couldn’t have been speaking just for herself.
Which means that Trump will not head the GOP ticket in 2024, unless he comes up with an entirely new explanation for what happened last year.
But the real question isn’t what happened last year, rather, it’s what happened in 2016. How in God’s name did that schmuck ever get elected in the first place?
Let’s look at the numbers, okay?
Trump lost the popular vote by slightly less than 3 million, but he got 304 electoral votes, which was 34 more electoral votes than he needed to win the whole thing. He got 46 electoral votes by flipping three states – Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin – which usually went blue. If Hillary had won those three states, we would have had to put up with her for the past four years.
Although I have never (read: never) voted for a Republican in any election for any office at all, I have to agree with the late Barbara Bush who allegedly said she could put up with Trump for four years if it meant finally getting rid of the Clintons. I can’t find a source for this quote but that’s how I feel about Trump as well.
Anyway, back to the numbers. Trump pulled 6,656,580 votes, or 47.7% of all the votes cast in MI, PA, and WI. In those same three states, Hillary got 6,577,816 votes, or 47.2% of the total votes in those three states. In other words, for all the talk about how Trump’s victory represented some kind of surge in some kind of right-wing ‘populist vote, the bottom line is that he won the election by one-half of one percent of the votes cast in those three states.
From the day he took office until the day he left office and went home, Trump behaved as if his election marked the beginning of a new political movement that would totally transform the GOP. This new MAGA movement was so powerful and so strong that after telling 46 mega-rallies that the 2018 mid-terms were a plebiscite about him, the Democrats picked up 41 House seats.
In other words, anyone who still wants to promote Trump as the be-all and end-all leader for the GOP, has to either ignore the results of the last three elections, or buy into Trump’s ‘election fraud’ nonsense which now even the RNC says is a narrative that just won’t fly.
And along with a repudiation of the ‘fraud’ messaging by the RNC, we are now beginning to get well-placed stories by members of Trump’s inner circle that it would be a disaster for him to run again in 2024 because he would probably lose. In fact, he might not even be the nominee since the latest poll out of New Hampshire shows Ron DeSantis with an eight-point lead over Trump.
The real question in all of this dithering, of course, is whether the Fake News media continues to give Trump all kinds of free publicity by making sure to repeat and amplify every word he says. The article in The Atlantic cited in the previous paragraph says that “unlike past presidents who willingly ceded the stage after defeat, Trump has made himself impossible to ignore since leaving office earlier this year.”
Trump hasn’t made himself anything at all in the past year. He’s held exactly two mass rallies and his website traffic has declined by neatly 90% over the past five months. In other words, what’s making Trump “impossible to ignore” is the continued efforts of the Fake News media to keep him alive, politically-speaking, that is.
Let’s go back to the numbers one more time. In 2012, Barack Obama got 65,915,795 total votes, in 2016 Hillary received 65,853,516 national votes, a difference of 1/10th of one percent. But in those three, all-important swing states – MI, PA, WI – Barack received 7,175,828 votes in 2012, Hillary got 6,577,816 votes in 2016.
Where did almost 600,000 Democratic votes go between 2012 and 2016? They sure as hell didn’t go to Hillary or she would have won the whole shebang.
There’s an old rule in elective politics that when you run for office, you always try to keep the votes in your column that the same party previously received. After all, it’s a lot easier to convince a Democrat to vote for another Democrat than to switch parties and vote the other line.
I have yet to see anyone in the Fake News punditry world deal with Trump’s so-called 2016 ‘victory’ in the terms I have just sketched out above. What we continue to get are media missives after media missives telling us how formidable Trump will be if he runs again.
At least Trump’s own party leadership knows how weak he really is. But as long as he has the Fake News media to promote his presence, why should he care what the GOP says?