So now to replace the non-story about the split in the Democratic Party between progressive and moderate wings which has been floating around the fake news for the last six months, we now have an equally nonsensical story about how out a ‘civil war’ is breaking out as a conflict between the GOP ‘establishment’ and the faction which wants to stick with Trump.
Here’s the latest salvo from USA Today: “Defeated and impeached, Trump still commands the loyalty of the GOP's voters.” The story goes on to cite a new poll conducted by Suffolk University for USA Today which found that 46% of Republicans said they would follow Trump to a new political party whereas only 27% would stick with the current GOP.
You can read the poll details here if you want. I’ll save you the trouble and point out two interesting responses to this poll. First, these same respondents (90% of the respondents were either Republicans or unaligned) gave the current GOP a ‘favorable’ versus ‘unfavorable’ rating of 57% to 28%. In other words, the same people who said they would abandon the Republican Party to follow Trump into MAGA-land still are supporters of the GOP.
Here’s the more important problem with this poll. When asked if they would vote for Trump again in 2024, more than 80% of the respondents said ‘yes.’ But the poll didn’t ask anyone to rate Trump against other potential 2024 candidates – no Ted Cruz, no Rand Paul, no Josh Hawley, no nobody. Which means that the support for a 2024 run by Trump doesn’t count for squat.
One thing I’ve learned about politics over the years, is that once someone gets elected to office and decides they want to sustain a political career, the first thing they learn how to do is to count votes. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a member of the town council, or the State Assembly, or the House of Representatives, or the Senate, or even the President of the United States. Want to get re-elected? Better know how to count votes.
There’s no doubt that Trump counted the votes after 2016 and realized that he only won the brass ring because Hillary ran such a lousy campaign. He not only counted votes in the general election, but he also started counting votes after he lost the Iowa caucuses.
When Ted Cruz came out on top in the 2016 Iowa caucuses, Trump accused him of ‘fraud.’ He tweeted edless times that he was ‘robbed.’ He tried to pressure the GOP leadership in Iowa to nullify the vote. Sound familiar? It should.
Recall what Trump did after becoming President even though he lost the national vote by some 3 million against an opponent who, to all intents and purposes, stopped campaigning around Labor Day. He created a Presidential to look at voter fraud in the 2016 election and then quietly dissolved the group when no fraud was found.
The problem is that if Trump didn’t count the 2016 votes all that accurately, he really didn’t count the votes in 2018 or last year. Trump ran around the country in 2018 claiming that even though he wasn’t on the ballot, the mid-term election was a judgement on him. The results were the largest increase in House seats for either party since Watergate.
The national vote margin in 2020 was twice as large for Joe as it had been for Hillary in 2016. So much for counting votes before the election began. But the even bigger mess was what happened in Georgia which took place exactly 24 hours before all those schmucks ran up the Capitol steps.
I suspect there would have been a lot more media analysis of the Georgia election if there hadn’t been the Capitol riot the very next day. And I also suspect that this analysis would have clearly demonstrated that Trump has never been much of a political asset for himself or for anyone else.
But the fact that some of the fake news media need some kind of story each day to get their clicks up to par is enough of a reason to pretend that Trump and MAGA are here to stay.
A new third party? Like I'm going on a diet today.