So now Nikki Haley is joining Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Josh Hawley, and Matt Gaetz in the early run-up to represent the GOP in 2024. Which means having to figure out what to do with the so-called Trump ‘base.’ After all, how can any Presidential candidate run on the GOP ticket without embracing the alt-right? On the other hand, how do you tell your followers that you want to ‘take the country back’ and not get tarnished with the images of January 6th?
The problem for all the 2024 Republican wannabes is to somehow present themselves as being able to lead the MAGA movement into the promised land without, at the same time, being seen as just a carbon-copy of Donald Trump. Because like it or not, and the liberal media doesn’t like it, politically-speaking, Trump is dead – fartig (finished, as Grandpa would say.)
There’s only one little problem, however. Which is that I don’t think anyone has yet to come up with the slightest bit of verifiable data which shows me that the so-called Trump ‘base’ is, electorally speaking, worth a damn. If anything, we can now analyze the results of four separate elections and the results of those contests completely undercut the idea that Trump’s so-called ‘base’ is a new and important force on the political scene. Ready? Here goes.
Trump won the 2016 election because he outpolled Hillary by 1/10th of 1 percent of the votes cast in 4 states. And he won in states like Michigan and Wisconsin because Hillary couldn’t be bothered to campaign in those states at all. So, for all the big rallies and noise that Trump made in 2016, he won by default, not because he turned on and turned out this big, new base.
In the off-year election of 2018, the GOP lost 42 seats. The day after the election, Trump got on Twitter and claimed that absent aggressive campaigning, the result would have been worse. Going from a 241 – 195 majority to a 235 – 199 minority wasn’t bad enough? So much for how the MAGA movement helped the GOP maintain control of the House.
Did more GOP voters show up in 2020 than ever before? They did. But for every new voter who went for the GOP last year, two new Democratic voters showed up. And if you look at the exit polls from the last two national elections, you’ll notice that the demographic breakdown between the two parties really didn’t change one bit.
The biggest collapse of the MAGA movement, however, occurred in the run-off election in Georgia which gave the Democrats control of the entire Hill. Trump showed up in Georgia and held a big rally in Dalton, which is an overwhelmingly White and rural part of the state. One of his supporters was interviewed by NPR and how did she know that the election was stolen? Ready? Here goes: “Because people love Trump here.”
If that statement doesn’t sum up the whole MAGA argument about election ‘fraud,’ I don’t know what does. Yesterday, one of Trump’s attorneys was asked whether he agreed with his client that the election was a ‘fraud,’ and he refused to answer. So even among Trump’s most ardent supporters, the MAGA narrative is beginning to wear thin.
No matter how educated, sophisticated, and progressive a society becomes, there will always be a lumpen fringe which believes they aren’t getting what they deserve. And if you have the kind of bully pulpit that the Oval Office represents, you can connect to every one of these good-for-nothings and make them feel that what you tell them to do is what needs to be done.
And even if some of the rioters end up spending six months or a year in jail, they’ll still have a great story to tell their kids and their grandkids. What better reason to drive a thousand miles and spend a weekend in DC?