The first thing. National Review Editor Rich Lowry is not a “die-hard” Trump fan. We’ll offer several examples later in the article — but let’s first get to the business at hand. As Lowry sees it, it’s a fool’s game to overestimate Trump’s dominance of the Republican Party this far in advance of the 2024 election.
Lowry writes in an editorial published Friday by The New York Post that Republican politicians that believe that the Republican Party belongs Trump are forgiven. This is because he survived not only two impeachments but also the Jan 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Trump’s rallies are still remarkably well-attended, he is making progress in his project of killing the careers of Republicans who supported his impeachment and big majorities of Republicans tell pollsters they want Trump to run for president again.
One thing is for sure: Trumpaloozas will be as powerful and as popular as ever.81 million votes
— Dr. Angel of ❤️🗣 (@AngelDiana1980) October 21, 2021
“And yet,” writes Lowry, “there are reasons to believe Trump’s dominance is exaggerated and that it is slowly degrading, such that by the time the 2024 Republican primaries roll around, he’ll be challengeable and beatable if he runs.” (At this point, Trump Do not runIn 2024, it would be news.
It’s not unusual for a former president to own his party until someone comes and takes it from him — Bill Clinton prior to Barack Obama, for example.
What’s different is that parties typically aren’t kind to one-term presidents who lost their re-election bids, and generally former presidents aren’t so bent on exercising control over their parties once they vacate the White House.
Trump has held on to his stolen-election story to escape the defeat of George H.W. and Jimmy Carter. Bush.
On top of this, Trump has an intact political operation that is paying a lot of attention to his potential endorsements and how they will or won’t enhance his own power.
Did you grab your popcorn yet? Let’s continue.
All of the above makes Trump an important player, says Lowry, and maybe more: “But there are indications of an undertow and factors that might increase it in the years ahead.”
Trump’s media footprint is much reduced. SocialFlow data shows that Trump’s stories are less popular than they were in March. It also fell further in August, September.
As for Trump’s polling numbers, Republicans might tell pollsters they want him to run again as a way to stick a finger in the eye of the media or as a general statement of warm feelings toward him.
Even if these findings are based on entirely forthcoming and sincere sentiments, wanting Trump to run is a threshold question that falls short of a commitment to vote for him 2½ years from now.
Just me, or is Lowry’s last line a stretch?
‘Trump Has Vulnerability Problems’
The wild card for Republican voters, and Trump if he does run in 2024 will be the 800-pound elephant in the room — January 6. New video captures officers welcoming people to the Capitol.
New video from Jan. 6 shows officers allowing people to enter Capitol | Just The News https://t.co/WwsyIKFN8f
— John Solomon (@jsolomonReports) October 19, 2021
I can see it breaking both ways — and it most likely will. There will be previous Trump voters who will not vote Trump in 2024 because of 2024 — and there will be Republicans — and others — who Trump will be supported because of the “stolen” 2020 election.
“At the end of the day,” argues Lowry, “what primary voters in both parties most want is to win. And this is Trump’s true Achilles’ heel.” (It’s also Trump’s greatest strength among his fervent supporters.)
He lost. [or the election was “stolen”]Joe Biden and it was his fundamental fault, even though there were last-minute changes to election procedures, the media landscape, and social media, that were stacked against him.
Rich, oh, those fighting words!
Ok, messenger has now stepped off the stage. The floor is yours.
Rich Lowry, is he full of crap? Is he arguing his point?
As I promised at the top, here are a few of Lowry’s notable Trump takes:
The Flight 93 Presidency Crash
Rich Lowry: Trump’s Disgusting Coda
Rich Lowry – Trump Lets Down His Side