Trump’s Numbers Don’t Add Up

He did not ‘trounce’, ‘crush’, or ‘destroy’ Nikki Haley

MartinEdic

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Photo by Osman Köycü on Unsplash

The words in quotes above are all from headlines in mainstream media and to say they are misleading is an understatement. Yes, he won in South Carolina and won definitively by 60% to Haley’s 40%, but when you look at those numbers the story is not of a crushing win.

Don’t get me wrong, he will probably get the Republican nomination, barring a miracle. But Haley’s 40% in an extremely conservative Trump loving state is a scary number if you are a Republican campaign strategist because it is a significant percentage of the Republican vote and an indication that a lot of Republicans are not too happy with their guy.

In the context of expectations, Trump did not do that well in a state that he should have owned. The question now is, how many of those dissatisfied Republicans will vote against Trump in the general election? Those numbers were very low in 2020 but they are estimated to be triple this time around, from an estimated 6% in 2020 to 18% this year.

Bear in mind that it is only February and we have endless months of watching Trump in court, Trump struggling to raise money for both legal bills and fines, and Trump increasingly appearing to show signs of early onset dementia, as he substitutes words with nonsense in his endless public ranting.

This, combined with his control over a do nothing Republican House of Representatives, is going to further chip away his support. One poll taken after the South Carolina primary showed a big drop in Republicans identifying as MAGA, the de facto Trump brand.

That same do nothing Congress will be facing a tipping point this week with the impending government shutdown on Friday and growing bipartisan support for passing the Ukraine aid bill, support that is bordering on outrage as Trump embraces Putin and the Freedom Caucus finds their Biden impeachment circus falling to pieces around them.

Besides the primary news, the other story bubbling up all over is that Republican embrace of the Russians, something that a lot of old school GOPers find extremely uncomfortable, given the recent death by apparent assassination of Putin opponent Alexei Navalny, a genuine hero.

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MartinEdic

Mastodon: @martinedic@md.dm, Writer, nine non-fiction books, two novels, Buddhist, train lover. Amateur cook, lover of life most of the time!