Patterico's Pontifications

9/21/2023

Still No Republican Standouts To Overtake You-Know-Who

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:01 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Good question: Why can’t any of the Republican candidates overtake Trump? At this point in time, Trump is not yet unbeatable but the conditions in which he could be beaten are still far from materializing.

From the analysis:

All hope is not dead for Donald Trump’s Republican rivals, but anyone seeking to emerge as a genuine challenger must soon begin to coalesce opposition to the ex-president to slow his chase toward a third straight GOP nomination.

A new CNN/SSRS poll showing the ex-president’s big lead steady in the first primary state of New Hampshire, an escalation of the campaign in Iowa, and frustrations among donors over a bloated field that is splitting the anti-Trump vote are injecting new urgency into the race four months before voting starts.

“We’re talking about four months. Can you believe it?” the ex-president said during a trip to Iowa on Wednesday, claiming that his polling had gone up like a “rocket ship” and boasting about how he had carried the state twice in general elections.

This is about a lot more than a horse race. In this unprecedented election, Trump’s strength raises the possibility that Republicans could chose a candidate facing four criminal trials, who could be a convicted felon by the November 2024 election and is promising, in an outpouring of autocratic rhetoric, a presidency of retribution that would test the rule of law more than his first term.

And yet…here we are.

Moreover:

But for anyone to seriously damage the ex-president, in the Granite State and elsewhere, one candidate would need to emerge in a still bloated field as the choice of almost all voters who oppose him. With four months to go, there is no sign yet of any of the chasing pack being willing to cede their own ambitions in favor of their rivals in order to stop Trump. And if Trump does not take on severe damage in the first two contests, it’s hard to see how his momentum can be halted as the race turns south and to big state primaries loaded with nominating delegates.

The second GOP debate will be held on Sept. 27. Now down from eight candidates, six candidates have qualified, thus far, to be on stage (Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, Mike Pence, Tim Scott, Nikki Haley and Chris Christie). It is being reported that you-know-who will skip the debate and instead speak before a group of union workers in Detroit.

The latest polls:

GOP, you have a big problem. Still.

–Dana

107 Responses to “Still No Republican Standouts To Overtake You-Know-Who”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (932d71)

  2. Ron DeSantis is polling fifth in New Hampshire.

    They don’t need to get behind a single candidate, ‘

    They need to change the rules so that a plurality isn’t enough to win the nomination — maybe even that a supermajority is, at least this time..

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  3. To me, Nikki Haley broke out at the last debate, but she remains behind at 5% (RCP), behind DeSantis and Ramaswamy, so the GOP doesn’t see it my way.
    I doubt Debate #2 will make a difference. My party is now pretty much a cult.
    Time for No Labels and Larry Hogan to come forward.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  4. Larry Hogan isn’t good enough.

    Lisa Murkowski maybe.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  5. They need to change the rules so that a plurality isn’t enough to win the nomination — maybe even that a supermajority is, at least this time..

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 9/21/2023 @ 3:49 pm

    Incorrect; a majority is required.

    In 2024, there are an estimated 2,467 delegates: 2,363 pledged delegates and 104 unpledged delegates.

    To win the Republican nomination, a presidential candidate must receive support from a majority of delegates—an estimated 1,234 delegates.

    If there isn’t a candidate with a majority of the delegates when the convention starts (unlikely), there would be multiple ballots until minor candidates with delegates make deals so in the end one candidate receives a majority.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  6. The issue, as always, is that the MSM gets nuts about DJT, instead of just calling him the giant baby he is. This causes a reaction among right-oriented people to support DJT.

    The real answer, of course, is to get DJT talking a lot. Cover what he says, but not misrepresent it. Just—imagine this—straight news.

    Then people can decide what they think of DJT based on what he says and his proposed policies, instead of what the MSM thinks of those things.

    I’m very depressed about the election.

    Simon Jester (14c506)

  7. The real answer, of course, is to get DJT talking a lot. Cover what he says, but not misrepresent it. Just—imagine this—straight news.

    Then people can decide what they think of DJT based on what he says and his proposed policies, instead of what the MSM thinks of those things.

    That’s why I love these one on one interviews like with CNN or NBC. Let him hang himself. But I daresay his base supports his conspiracy theories and policies.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  8. Larry Hogan isn’t good enough.

    Lisa Murkowski maybe.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 9/21/2023 @ 4:18 pm

    LOL!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  9. A suggestion for DeSantis: Go nuclear on Trump over abortion. It cannot hurt DeSantis (Trump is attack him on the same topic), and it might help him, or even the party, to pry some single-issue voters away from the madman.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  10. New Hampshirites don’t see Haley as presidential material, but as VP she’s looking pretty good:

    Nikki Haley is finally getting a bounce in New Hampshire. It’s just not the one she wants.
    …………..
    The Republican activists and politically curious who turn out for campaign events in the first primary state are now grading candidates on a lower curve — as the person next in line should Trump implode, or, more realistically at this juncture, as his running mate.
    ………….
    A post-debate NMB Research poll of likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire, conducted on behalf of the Competitiveness Coalition and the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, put Haley tied for second place with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — her best showing in a survey here yet. But the support DeSantis and Haley notched, 10 percent apiece, is still leagues behind Trump, at 47 percent.
    ………….
    Haley’s rise is being blunted by the same force dragging down every candidate running behind Trump: Love him or hate him, many Republicans in this critical early state say they’re hard-pressed to see a scenario in which Trump isn’t the GOP nominee for the third consecutive cycle.

    And as lower-polling candidates come through the Granite State, their continued deference to Trump only bolsters the idea among New Hampshire voters that they’re witnessing a race for second place.

    ……….(Vivek Ramaswamy’s) level of fealty has left some Republicans here questioning whether Ramaswamy is outright auditioning to be Trump’s next vice president. Trump has been open to the idea. ………

    Tim Scott’s refusal to engage with Trump — or any of his GOP presidential rivals — is raising similar sentiments about the South Carolina senator. ……….
    …………
    “There’s no doubt [that] more than any other candidate, fair or unfair, voters view Nikki Haley as a vice presidential candidate,” said veteran New Hampshire-based Republican consultant Mike Dennehy.
    ………….
    Haley herself has shot down speculation she’s running to be someone else’s running mate. “I don’t run for second,” Haley told POLITICO last month.

    But even still, Haley acknowledged the unique dynamic of the 2024 primary, in which everyone is asking not just how a lower-tier candidate can win, but whether they’d be willing to run alongside Trump.
    ………….

    Would Haley, who has described Trump as “the most disliked politician in all of America” serve as his running mate?

    Absolutely, it will be the closest she ever gets to the White House. Political ambition knows no bounds.

    Re-posted from last weekend’s open thread.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  11. They need to change the rules so that a plurality isn’t enough to win the nomination — maybe even that a supermajority is, at least this time..

    Trump would never concede if he could block everyone else. Better would be a rule that freed Trump’s delegates from their pledges “due to subsequent felony convictions.”

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  12. To me, Nikki Haley broke out at the last debate, but she remains behind at 5% (RCP), behind DeSantis and Ramaswamy, so the GOP doesn’t see it my way.

    The GOP didn’t see it any way — they didn’t watch and Videk had all the (moronic) soundbites. Someone needs to trash Ramaswamy at the next debate with his Big Pharma background and how he “swindled millio0ns of mom and pop investors” in the pump and dump operations that made him rich.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  13. Sadly for Vidak, there is no such think as libel in these things.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  14. but as VP she’s looking pretty good:

    I think she’d chew her arm off to avoid being a felon’s moll.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  15. A suggestion for DeSantis: Go nuclear on Trump over abortion. It cannot hurt DeSantis (Trump is attack him on the same topic), and it might help him, or even the party, to pry some single-issue voters away from the madman.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/21/2023 @ 5:44 pm

    The best place to see if that works is Iowa, since it is dominated by evangelicals which DeSantis and Scott are chasing. But Trump still leads in Iowa by a substantial margin, according to the RCP average:

    Trump: 49%

    DeSantis: 15

    Haley 9

    Ramaswamy 7

    Scott 7

    Pence 3

    Burgum 3

    Christie 2

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  16. I think (Haley would) chew her arm off to avoid being a felon’s moll.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/21/2023 @ 5:55 pm

    LOL! Given her hot and cold feelings toward Donald, I can see her making the calculation that if Trump wins the nomination and the general election, and is then impeached, guess who becomes President?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  17. LOL! Given her hot and cold feelings toward Donald, I can see her making the calculation that if Trump wins the nomination and the general election, and is then impeached, guess who becomes President?

    Can I see the hands of those here who like Haley now, and would still like her as Trump’s VP?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  18. OTOH, being Trump’s buddy is good only so long as you remain Trump’s buddy. Looking back, only Giuliani seems to have weathered the storm and it sucks to be him.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  19. Can I see the hands of those here who like Haley now, and would still like her as Trump’s VP?

    Trump’s VP is irrelevant. I’ll never vote for Trump, even if Reagan came back from the dead as a 60-year old VP running mate.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  20. New Hampshire poll: https://www.cnn.com/2023/09/20/politics/cnn-poll-new-hampshire/index.html

    Trump 39%
    Vivek Ramaswamy 13%
    Nikki Haley 12%
    Chris Christie 11%
    Ron DeSantis 10%
    Tim Scott 6%
    Mike Pence 2%

    Over 110 days to any voting. I suspect the bottom two will be gone soon, joining Burgum and Hutchinson

    AJ_Liberty (5d5426)

  21. Trump would never trust Haley with the VP position. He needs someone who will shamelessly go out on the stump and lie about his indictments and continue his memes when he’s stuck in trial. Noem is much more amenable and has been predictably loyal over the past year. She’s also compromised now by the Lewandowski affair — she’ll be malleable. If Lake is moving on, I would push all in on Noem. Trump will want a looker.

    AJ_Liberty (5d5426)

  22. Well, since Kari Lake is running for a Senate seat, that leaves Stefanik, Marge, and Noem. Trump will want an attack dog, but if the watchdog can also be attractive, I agree it’ll be Noem.

    Dana (932d71)

  23. Tim Scott is in a no-win position. The GOP seems worried that there isn’t a girlfriend or wife. Chatter about him possibly being gay is not going over well with the deep pocketed donors. Now the UAW has filed a labor complaint against him for suggesting that striking union workers should be fired (taking a page from the Reagan playbook) and that his comments violated federal labor law. He’s a decent guy, but I’d sure like to see more backbone and less attempts to make everyone happy, and also come straight out and say that Trump was wrong in every way about Jan. 6.

    Dana (932d71)

  24. It will be interesting to see how Scott comes across if he gets more aggressive at the second debate. People like him because he’s not brash, interrupting, and theatrical. He does better at Townhalls where he can spin anecdotes and be cheery. I’m afraid this isn’t his cycle.

    The challenge is that any opposition to Trump is going up against right-wing media where most of them are enabling Trump’s lies. Everyone is afraid of losing eyeballs to the even farther right outlet.

    The Dominion lawsuit showed us how the opinion-side of the house pressures the news side at Fox. Trump’s first term had the opinion people as close to power as they will ever get. Ear whisperer to the President made it so they can never go back to fair and balanced. It’s difficult to imagine how Fox shakes its orange glow and becomes an outlet inviting to a non-MAGA. Maybe another big lawsuit or two.

    AJ_Liberty (5d5426)

  25. Maybe it’s time to talk about lanes, and I’m trying to think ahead here.

    As I see it, right now there’s a 10-lane, 1-way freeway to the GOP nomination, and Trump occupies 6 of those lanes, where he’s at 58.8% per RCP, and it would be tragic that a mentally unhinged malignant narcissist becomes our nominee and has a shot at becoming our 47th president, and don’t get me started with the Donkey Party.

    Tim Scott has no lane because Haley took over Lane No. 7 after the first debate. He should just endorse Haley. Lane No. 8 is appealing to me, but not to the GOP, so it’s narrow and does not lead to the nomination, although Haley would make a strong president. Haley as VP is pointless, IMO, given the top of the ticket.

    Christie has Lane No. 8, the Dissident Lane, so there’s no reason for Hutchinson or Burgum or Hurd to be there, regrettably so. It’s a narrow single-digit lane that does not lead to the nomination, although Christie would be a fat but solid president.

    DeSantis and Ramaswamy take up Lane No. 9, which is wider than the non-Trump lanes but does not lead to the nomination. DeSantis was supposed to be the Trumpist without the batsh-t, but then he went on his own path of batsh-t. thus marginalizing himself. Ramaswamy is a right-wing fraud trying to run as a Republican, but all he’s trying to do is suck away votes from DeSantis while angling for being Trump’s VP. It’s a waste of a lane and might as well be Trump’s.

    Lane No. 10 is the wild-card lane, and it represents a future that we can’t foresee. It could be (1) a total Trump meltdown, where even his most loyal devotees have said “enough” to his crimes and dishonesty, and/or (2) Biden dies or is so debilitated that a cackling lightweight like Harris is holding the bag, or (3) Trump gets squashed by his golf cart after making a wild turn, or (4) Biden is so senile and Trump is so unhinged that the American people are begging for Door #3, like a Hogan-Manchin ticket under the No Labels Party, or (5) ??? because after all, who confidently predicted in June 2015 that Trump would be POTUS in November 2016?

    Personally, I’m good with Lanes 7, 8 and 10.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  26. More bad news for never trump republicans and good news for AOC & me. Biden has dropped below trump in latest polling (faux news) Remember Biden only won the electoral collage by democrat party getting green party kicked off ballot. 81 million votes meant squat! 43,000 combined votes in az, ga. & wi. won presidency for Biden. Immigration issue is starting to scare corporate establishment democrats and DNC who were hoping abortion would drag the senile old corrupt fool across the finish line. If he goes against immigrants AOC and the left gets off the Biden band wagon and primaries him and if that doesn’t work support green party like 2016. Biden needs the left the left doesn’t need or want him.

    asset (f7aa42)

  27. Trump voters like Trump. He makes them think he cares about them, even though he would kill them all and climb up a pile of their dead bodies if that’s what it took to get back into the whitehouse.

    Nic (896fdf)

  28. Michigan attorney general blames right wing jurors getting on jury for acquittal in gov. whitmer’s kidnap trial. Something to ponder for those who think trump will get a non-political jury.

    asset (f7aa42)

  29. I share Paul’s sentiment about lanes….and who ultimately will stay relevant…perhaps barely….going into Feb-Mar. It’s also likely true that there’s going to need to be a tsunami to dislodge Trump. The Trump-DeSantis-Ramaswamy vote is still a strong majority. The GOP still wants to go with angry and slightly unhinged.

    The spectacle of a trial involving their candidate has not yet sunk in. That’s an MSNBC topic; the GOP talks about Hunter’s charges and Joe’s payoffs…that just have to be there. They get riled over vaccinations and laugh at global warming…and feign exhaustion about funding Ukraine.

    The Right now has the impending quintuple of dysfunction: (1) an impeachment without clear evidence of a crime, (2) an impending government shutdown without a clear and achievable goal, (3) continued teardown of the justice system over pretty damning accusations against Trump, (4) party disunity with regards to how to proceed on abortion: federalism vs compelled national bans, and (5) moral confusion over Ukraine and what message we should send to China.

    So I will cheer any voices that speak sanity and are ideologically cogent. I see no point in punching down at Haley or Christie. Neither is perfect, but there needs to be an opposition voice that advocates a different path. The GOP can’t be the party of felonious candidates. We need a non-clown-car conservative party. The votes in four months will be a time for choosing. I’m hoping for that tsunami….

    AJ_Liberty (5d5426)

  30. Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight,
    Alone and palely loitering;
    The sedge is withered from the lake,
    And no birds sing.

    Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight,
    So haggard and so woe-begone?
    The squirrel’s granary is full,
    And the harvest’s done.

    I see a lilly on thy brow,
    With anguish moist and fever dew;
    And on thy cheek a fading rose
    Fast withereth too.

    There will be no Republican savior absent an act of God. “Liliputian” is not a bad descriptor, but “self-seeking twerps” is more apt, I think.

    Having lost all respect for the Republican Party, I shift my few remaining shreds of hope to the Democrats. And even there, I cannot name anyone except J. B. Pritzker, the governor of the Land of Lincoln, and he has flatly refused to run.

    nk (f90c44)

  31. What has been striking me even more strongly in recent days is how our “mainstream” journalists are — in effect — backing Trump. The amount of time and space they give to him is far in excess of the total given to all the other candidates. (I believe the same was true in 2016.)

    So far I have seen the following from other candidates:
    1. A TV ad from Doug Burgum
    2. Part of a speech from Nikki Haley on Fox Live.
    3. Part of an interview with Asa Hutchinson on Fox Live.
    (All three were quite good.)

    And that’s it.

    (To be fair, I have not watched the news programs on major networks for years, and don’t plan to start watching them now. I read the NYT only once a week (Tuesday) and the Seattle Times only on Sunday — but I read the WaPo on line every day. And I look through the MS$ Edge aggregation, Mediaite, and Memeorandum every day.

    Jim Miller (f4a92c)

  32. Haley is taking it to Trump now.

    GOP presidential hopeful Nikki Haley said Thursday that former President Donald Trump will be remembered as ‘thin-skinned and easily distracted’ and criticized him for becoming ‘weak in the knees’ on Ukraine.

    Haley was hopping around New Hampshire, a state where she has seen her 2024 fortunes rise, with an InsiderAdvantage poll released Thursday showing her in a definitive second place – receiving 14 percent of the vote compared to Trump’s 42 percent.

    Additionally, a Granite State poll from CNN Wednesday showed her in third place, far behind Trump, but neck-and-neck with Vivek Ramaswamy, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

    The ex-ambassador and former governor of South Carolina headlined a Rotary Club luncheon at the Portsmouth Country Club, where she was asked by an attendee how Trump will be remembered 100 years from now.

    ‘You get the prize for the question I haven’t been asked,’ Haley said to laughs – before giving Trump a very mixed review.

    How do I think he will be remembered?’ she remarked. ‘Time does funny things.’

    ‘My thought will be that he was the right president at the right time. He broke things that needed to be broken. He listened and brought in a group of people who felt unheard, like where I grew up in rural South Carolina,’ Haley said.

    She said that Trump was ‘strong on foreign policy and getting America’s respect in the world.’

    At that point the review went downhill.

    ‘He was thin-skinned and easily distracted,’ she continued.

    ‘He didn’t do anything on fiscal policy and and really spent a lot of money and we’re all paying the price for it,’ she said.

    She did give him credit for handling the border crisis better than Biden.

    ‘He used to be good on foreign policy. And now he has started to walk it back and get weak in the knees when it comes to Ukraine,’ she said. …

    ‘A terrible thing happened on January 6, and he called it a beautiful day. And in the eyes of America, it was a terrible day,’ Haley added.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  33. Michigan attorney general blames right wing jurors getting on jury for acquittal in gov. whitmer’s kidnap trial. Something to ponder for those who think trump will get a non-political jury.

    Nullifiers get you hung juries if the case is any good. The case wasn’t any good — these were acquittals — and the AG can’t admit that.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  34. Trump’s VP is irrelevant. I’ll never vote for Trump, even if Reagan came back from the dead as a 60-year old VP running mate.

    Yes, and his Teflon™ wouldn’t help him from Trump’s slime.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  35. Trump would never trust Haley with the VP position.

    He wouldn’t trust anyone with an independent base (or opinions). He needs to own people and his experience in the first term with folks like Mattis and Kelly reinforced that need.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  36. …he would kill them all and climb up a pile of their dead bodies if that’s what it took to get a 10% off coupon at McDonalds.

    FIFY.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  37. Having lost all respect for the Republican Party, I shift my few remaining shreds of hope to the Democrats.

    Then you are a useful idiot. There are people in the GOP you strongly agree with. There are NONE such in the Democrat Party.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  38. @32, Haley’s assessment is fairly balanced. I think she’s far more politically astute than what Rip gives her credit for. I think she understands that 30M MAGA just don’t disappear. They will need to be gradually woo’ed back and blended into the GOP. A more nuanced view of trade and focused control of the border is what MAGA brings. It has negatives that need to be blended out…including personality worship and being OK with legal and constitutional illiteracy…and the notion that the President can only be President for half the country. A leader has to find a way to build bridges…and not just the concrete ones. Obama failed. W at least tried. Trump set us back. Haley sounds like a President and of the candidates in the top 5, she continues to be the most politically savvy.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  39. (Scott’s) not brash, interrupting, and theatrical.

    The word you’re looking for is boring. Also, Scott (so far) hasn’t enumerated his policy positions on many issues, except for abortion, and as Dana noted, labor rights (he’s against them).

    Rip Murdock (1b9322)

  40. Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/22/2023 @ 9:43 am

    “Now” being the operative word. What will she say next week? Or at the debate? Nobody knows.

    Rip Murdock (1b9322)

  41. Trump voters like Trump. He makes them think he cares about them, even though he would kill them all and climb up a pile of their dead bodies if that’s what it took to get back into the whitehouse.

    Nic (896fdf) — 9/22/2023 @ 12:13 am

    And they would die with a smile on their faces.

    Rip Murdock (1b9322)

  42. Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/22/2023 @ 9:43 am

    LOL! Darling Nikki’s comments are pretty weak tea. A combination of compliments and mild (at best) criticism.

    Rip Murdock (1b9322)

  43. Trump would never trust Haley with the VP position. He needs someone who will shamelessly go out on the stump and lie about his indictments and continue his memes when he’s stuck in trial. ………

    I still can see Haley being VP. Mike Pence successfully put his core values in the vault for four years being Trump’s VP. If he can do it, anyone can, especially if can’t get to the WH on your own.

    Rip Murdock (1b9322)

  44. Well, Rip, only your opinion suggests that Nikki has no values, or that they are fluid. Your argument is, at its core, circular.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  45. The word you’re looking for is boring.

    With a tinge of stupid.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  46. Tim Scott WOULD be Trump’s VP, and he’d not understand why people thought ill of him for it.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  47. Haley sounds like a President

    Remember back in the misty days of 2015, when we talked about a candidate being “presidential”? Some even said that Trump would be more presidential once in office, that we’d see him change.

    Of the GOP candidates on stage, Haley and Christie clearly make the grade, Pence does too, for the stick-up-the-ass variety, and maybe Hutchinson as a Jimmy Carter type.

    DeSantis is too angry and divisive, Scott is too one-dimensional, Burgham is too woodsy and Videk is Joe Izuzu.

    And, of course, we are still waiting for the presidential version of the front runner.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  48. I think (Haley) understands that 30M MAGA just don’t disappear. They will need to be gradually woo’ed back and blended into the GOP. …….

    No they don’t, they should be excised like a diseased organ. But if that’s true, Haley isn’t the person to do it. MAGAWorld loathes her (for example) as a neocon warmonger over her support for Ukraine and defense industry ties, her abandonment of the Confederate flag (after defending it), and their irrational belief that she is ineligible to be President.

    Rip Murdock (1b9322)

  49. No they don’t, they should be excised like a diseased organ.

    This is why you aren’t ever going to run for office. You’d tell most of the voters that they are all sh!ts and be proud of yourself for it.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  50. MAGAWorld loathes her

    All that would be needed is for Trump to endorse her in the general election. Which he would do, needing her to be elected, and her good will. It would not offend his principles one little bit.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  51. Well, Rip, only your opinion suggests that Nikki has no values, or that they are fluid. Your argument is, at its core, circular.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/22/2023 @ 11:26 am

    Her values depend on what audience she is speaking to and what she wants from them. They aren’t deeply rooted. Her strongest value is winning. And if she can’t win on her own, I’m sure she’ll join the team that looks like it will win-in this case, as Trump’s VP. It will be the closest she’ll get to the WH, and if she’s lucky she’ll become President if Trump is impeached (or dies).

    Rip Murdock (2af805)

  52. they should be excised like a diseased organ.

    The worst thing that could happen with MAGA is that they could be driven to the Democrat Party. Not only would that cement the Dems into the WH, but the media would be praising their idiocies as the new dogma.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  53. I’m sure she’ll join the team that looks like it will win-in this case, as Trump’s VP

    I think Team Wait-Until-2028 has better odds. The GOP nearly always goes with the 2nd place last time.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  54. All that would be needed is for Trump to endorse her in the general election.

    LOL! In the unlikely event Trump is not the Republican nominee, I doubt Trump would endorse anyone who beats him. He may run against the Republican nominee as an independent.

    Rip Murdock (1b9322)

  55. @54: No pardon for him then.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  56. BTW, Newsom is clearly on Team Wait-Until-2028. He’s backing Biden to the hilt, picking up chits for the open WH in 2028 even if Trump wins.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  57. The worst thing that could happen with MAGA is that they could be driven to the Democrat Party. Not only would that cement the Dems into the WH, but the media would be praising their idiocies as the new dogma.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/22/2023 @ 11:47 am

    More LOL! MAGA and Democrats have absolutely nothing in common. I foresee MAGA dropping out and just not voting at all.

    Rip Murdock (1b9322)

  58. BTW, Newsom is clearly on Team Wait-Until-2028.

    Right up until he gets that phone call from the Democratic Convention asking if he would like to be drafted if Biden drops out (for whatever reason) and the party faction that wants to win ditches Harris.

    Rip Murdock (1b9322)

  59. @54: No pardon for him then.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/22/2023 @ 11:51 am

    Given that all of the Republican candidates (except for non-entities like Christie and Hutchinson) have at least agreed to consider a pardon for Trump, a strong statement from the nominee (in their acceptance speech) saying that Trump would be pardoned on “day one” might be the price they would need to pay to ensure that Trump doesn’t run as an independent.

    Rip Murdock (2af805)

  60. I’m not aware of any consequential policy position that Haley has flipped flopped on. Yes, she’s walked back some of her more biting comments on Trump, but there are few in the GOP who are pure…and still relevant. I see her as no more or less ambitious than anyone else in the field….but far smarter and ethical than Trump.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  61. I’m not aware of any consequential policy position………

    Beyond backing Ukraine (which I support) and her non-position on abortion (consensus!), what are policy positions?

    Rip Murdock (1b9322)

  62. Rip Murdock (1b9322) — 9/22/2023 @ 12:38 pm

    Clarification:

    What are Haley’s “consequential” policy positions?

    Rip Murdock (1b9322)

  63. …….. Yes, she’s walked back some of her more biting comments on Trump, but there are few in the GOP who are pure……..

    And even fewer running for president.

    Rip Murdock (1b9322)

  64. “What are Haley’s “consequential” policy positions?”

    As the GOP devolved into a cult of personality with layerings of populism and nationalism, my expectations for Presidential leadership have become much more modest. I want someone to the Right of Biden on most issues. That is where Haley is. She does not have plans for massive spending initiatives or regulation of the energy sector. She wants to flatten the tax code. She would like to raise the social security retirement age to reflect changes in life expectancy. She will more aggressively police the southern border. She favors many of Paul Ryan’s budgeting reforms. She will take a tough stance on Russia and China. She favors nuclear power. She will appoint conservative justices. She will limit social experimentation in the military. I suspect that she will be somewhere between Bush and Trump with regards to trade policy. She will focus on changing hearts and minds on abortion rather than having performative votes that just harden hearts and chill the progress in areas that are more hopeful.

    I trust that she will not exceed her constitutional authority and appreciates the need for fidelity to the law. Her previous service does not show her to be a rogue actor or dismissive of her oversight. Much of what I want is a change in policy trajectory and a change in leadership style. Neither Trump nor Biden give me any hope for improving our toxic politics. DeSantis either for that matter. I think Haley, Christie, Hutchinson, and Scott would all do better in that regard but I judge that she is the only one that has any shot at the nomination. It’s small but not infinitesimal. I think she has the personality for the position, not in a weird worshipful way, but in a way that promises to bring the country a little bit more together.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  65. AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 9/22/2023 @ 2:59 pm

    Too bad she won’t have the opportunity to follow through.

    Rip Murdock (0dfcb6)

  66. LOLcandidates.
    — Prezidency? I can haz Prezidency?
    — No, you cannot haz Prezidency! At least Trump is 1-1 at passing his particular brand of hokum. You’re not even a cat!

    nk (751136)

  67. AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 9/22/2023 @ 2:59 pm

    Too bad she won’t have the opportunity to follow through.

    Rip Murdock (0dfcb6) — 9/22/2023 @ 3:57 pm

    It’s because her positions are too moderate for the current Republican Party.

    Rip Murdock (0dfcb6)

  68. MAGA and Democrats have absolutely nothing in common. I foresee MAGA dropping out and just not voting at all.

    1) Biden has co-opted nearly all of Trump’s econmic agenda and has dialed up the China tariffs to 11.

    2) Trumponomics is Dick Gephardt’s economics from the 90s.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  69. What are Haley’s “consequential” policy positions?

    Shorter Rip: NANANANANANANANANA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  70. MAGA and Democrats have absolutely nothing in common. I foresee MAGA dropping out and just not voting at all.

    1) Biden has co-opted nearly all of Trump’s econmic agenda and has dialed up the China tariffs to 11.

    2) Trumponomics is Dick Gephardt’s economics from the 90s.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/22/2023 @ 9:58 pm

    It’s more than economics. MAGAites would never join a racially diverse party such as the Democrats, nor would they join a party that promotes immigration or gender equality.

    Rip Murdock (0dfcb6)

  71. MAGAites would never join a racially diverse party such as the Democrats

    Not so long ago they WERE Democrats, just like their boss.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  72. That was then, this is now. MAGAites loathe all minorities now.

    Rip Murdock (5a5f7f)

  73. Less than 25% of GOP voters want to see abortion bans. And they won’t vote for Trump now either.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  74. MAGAites would never join a racially diverse party such as the Democrats

    Also, you seem to ignore “why Trump?”, which was largely economic, and focus on those few Trumpies beloved of MSM photographers.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  75. Also, you seem to ignore “why Trump?”, which was largely economic, and focus on those few Trumpies beloved of MSM photographers.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/23/2023 @ 8:04 am

    The “why” is immaterial today, it should have been addressed with the Tea Party. I dare say most MAGAites aren’t impressed by “Bidenomics” and see America in terminal decline (because of the Democrats).

    And you’re ignoring the social issues of the last seven years. Gay marriage, abortion, gun control, gender identity, DEI, etc. are all red lines for MAGAWorld. And their boogie man is the “deep state”. If any party represents that it’s the Democrats.

    And why would they vote for a party they consider to have cheated Trump out of a second term? It may have been economics in the past, but if you read what they say now, they would like to see every Democrat arrested (or worse). (They feel the same about regular Republicans too.)

    What evidence is there that MMAGAWorld would switch to the Democratic Party? Absolutely none.

    Rip Murdock (5a5f7f)

  76. The “why” is immaterial today, it should have been addressed with the Tea Party

    Those were two wildly different things. The Teas were about fiscal restraint and balanced budgets. MAGA is about jobs for Bubba.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  77. MAGA is about jobs for Bubba.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/23/2023 @ 9:37 am

    Even if that were true, they wouldn’t support Democratic economic policies; and again, you’re ignoring the social issues aspect outlined above.

    There is no way MAGA would support a political party that has “The Squad” as members of Congress. If MAGA was excluded from the Republican Party (which given their numbers they won’t, because the party wants their votes) MAGA voters will either not vote or form their own political party.

    If the Republican Party wants to return to sanity, the party needs to find a way to survive without MAGA. Otherwise Trumpism will be its future. And Haley et. al. can kiss 2028 goodbye.

    Rip Murdock (5a5f7f)

  78. 2) Trumponomics is Dick Gephardt’s economics from the 90s.

    And RFK Jr support is a way of atoning for making fun of the voice of Paul Tsongas, who also had a roundabout incentivized version of Gephardt economics (Tsongas was 2nd in delegates in 1992 behind Clinton).

    urbanleftbehind (35c02d)

  79. If the Republican Party wants to return to sanity, the party needs to find a way to survive without MAGA.

    Or they need to co-opt those voters by giving them “enough.” No one gets everything they want. Cutting China off at the knees handles quite a bit of it as it contains things like rebuilding US manufacturing and near-shoring any outsourced jobs. Building supply chains in Mexico and Central America helps in other ways, too.

    Some aspects of MAGA can be co-opted. Some of the social issues, some of the immigration issues, etc. It’s not immigration that’s the problem anyway, it’s cut-rate competition from illegals that’s the problem. If everyone is getting, say $30/hr that’s one thing, but the guys who are willing to work at $5/hr under the table are hard to fight.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  80. September 2023 Emerson Republican Primary Poll

    The September Emerson College Polling national survey of U.S. voters finds former President Donald Trump with a 47-point lead over his closest competitor in the Republican Presidential Primary, his largest lead since tracking this race in June 2022.

    Trump’s support increased 9 points since last month’s national poll to 59% while support for Governor Ron DeSantis stayed the same at 12%, and Vivek Ramaswamy fell two points to 7%. Chris Christie and Mike Pence follow with 5% respectively, Nikki Haley with 3%, and Tim Scott with 2%. Five percent are undecided.

    Overall, 63% of Republican Primary voters say they will definitely support their chosen candidate, while 36% say there is a chance they could change their mind and vote for someone else.

    “Seventy-five percent of Trump voters say they will definitely support him in the Republican primary, up four points since the August survey, while 42% say the same of Ron DeSantis — a significant hardening among supporters of DeSantis since August, when 25% said the same,” Matt Taglia, new Senior Director at Emerson College Polling, said.

    …………Sixty-two percent of Democratic Primary voters plan to support the president for re-election as the Democratic nominee, while 14% support Robert Kennedy Jr., and 4% support Marianne Williamson. Twenty-one percent are undecided. ……,,

    In a general election rematch between Trump and Biden, 45% support the former president and the current president respectively. ………
    ………….

    Paragraph breaks added.

    Rip Murdock (509171)

  81. And RFK Jr support is a way of atoning for making fun of the voice of Paul Tsongas

    I guess calling Asa Hutchinson “Mr Rogers” will cost me Karma.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  82. Sorry for the lack of blockquotes.

    Rip Murdock (509171)

  83. Or they need to co-opt those voters by giving them “enough.”

    Again, your focus is entirely on economics, which doesn’t address their attitudes towards social issues, such as abortion, equality, “the deep state”, racial/gender preferences, any form of government regulation, etc. (all of which they oppose.) MAGA doesn’t want a half a loaf, they want the whole thing. They don’t believe in compromise, as we have seen this week in the House.

    MAGA isn’t concerned about economic competition from immigrants, they just don’t want anyone coming into this country period. For MAGA the boat is full.

    I don’t expect the Trump Republican Party of 2024 to be any different in 2028, so those candidates like Haley et. al. who are hoping things will go back to normal will be sadly mistaken. There will be another demagogue to replace Trump because his ideology has proven successful.

    But hey, if that’s the party you want, I’ll just keep my decline to state voter registration.

    Thanks for the exchange.

    Rip Murdock (509171)

  84. Rip Murdock (509171) — 9/23/2023 @ 2:36 pm

    To say MAGAWorld is xenophobic is putting it mildly.

    Rip Murdock (509171)

  85. You know what the really scary thing about MAGA is? It’s not that half are retired, half are over 65, or that half make less than $50K. It’s not that even larger numbers are White, Christian and Male.

    It’s that fewer than 20% are married and less than 30% went to college. More are members of a militia than married. These are people with guns and not a whole lot to lose.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  86. MAGA also has a harsh view of women and blacks.

    https://sites.uw.edu/magastudy/maga-difference/

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  87. MAGA’s view of social issues, outside of xenophobia, is pretty mixed. They are 50% “pro-life”, which includes many who do not favor total abortion bans.

    https://sites.uw.edu/magastudy/demographics-group-affinities/

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  88. …………
    It’s that fewer than 20% are married and less than 30% went to college. More are members of a militia than married. These are people with guns and not a whole lot to lose.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/23/2023 @ 2:45 pm

    MAGA also has a harsh view of women and blacks.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/23/2023 @ 2:47 pm

    And these are the kind of people you want to keep in the Republican Party?

    Okay………

    Rip Murdock (509171)

  89. Better there than on the streets.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  90. @84 Excellent points. Never trumpers keep spreading the fairy dust. Desatan 5th in latest N.H. poll.

    asset (e0cb67)

  91. Trafalgar Group September 2023 Iowa Caucus Poll

    Donald Trump 48.6%

    Ron DeSantis 16.2%

    Nikki Haley 8.4%

    Tim Scott 6.8%

    Vivek Ramaswamy 6.6%

    Mike Pence 3.8%

    Doug Burgum 3.6%

    Chris Christie 2.2%

    Perry Johnson 0.8%

    Asa Hutchinson 0.4%
    ………….

    Reformatted for clarity. Poll details.

    Rip Murdock (509171)

  92. Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/23/2023 @ 2:45 pm

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/23/2023 @ 2:47 pm

    Proving my point that MAGA has nothing in common with Democrats.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/23/2023 @ 3:21 pm

    1) They are already on streets, whether the vote for Republicans or not at all.

    2) Count me out of that political party-l’ll keep my decline to state voter registration.

    Rip Murdock (509171)

  93. @88 mega populists hate the same people trump hates including never trumpers. Trump and megas give each other power. Your posts tries to find ways to lessen their power. They may be dumb ;but they are not stupid. This parable from CARtoons will explain it. A guy has flat tire in front of insane ayslum and has no spare tire. He takes tire down to tire shop to fix it. When he gets back his lug nuts are missing. A guy behind ayslum fence says may I make a suggestion? If you take one lug nut off other three wheels you will be able to drive to auto store for more lug nuts. As the guy does it two guys in white coats drag the guy behind the fence away. The guy turns to him and says why is an obviously intelligent person like you doing in an insane asylum? Nut says I am here because I am crazy NOT because I am STUPID. Trumpsters are crazy not stupid!

    asset (e0cb67)

  94. “I guess calling Asa Hutchinson “Mr Rogers” will cost me Karma.”

    Yeah but you’re for Haley so you’ll get some karma back. Hindu humor in there somewhere.

    I’m not tracking in the study “how many” they are considering MAGA. I don’t think this implies 50% of the GOP, right? I would guess 20%…and that would be hard-core MAGA. But the 20% married sounds a little odd. Again, based who I see driving around with jacked-up trucks with plastic testicles and Trump flags…maybe.

    AJ_Liberty (52a7c9)

  95. There’s no real “do you want them [MAGA] in”. They will do what they do. Some may go back to not voting; others might go 3rd party; and others will marry and hold their nose and vote for Republicans. The concern is that parties are very weak right now. The internet and social media and hyper-partisanship has changed politics….and parties are trying to catch up. The GOP is now highjacked in many quarters…so MAGA IS the party.

    As I said previously. The GOP will have to quasi-adopt the least offensive elements of MAGA for the near future while hopefully finding a way to get back to normal candidates. Ramaswamy is not encouraging, as it indicates a continued fascination with rich hucksters. Personally I’m not rabid anti-illegal alien, but that would be the component that I bet sticks. Trade skepticism can be managed without shooting the golden goose.

    AJ_Liberty (52a7c9)

  96. The GOP will have to quasi-adopt the least offensive elements of MAGA for the near future………

    Which MAGA positions should the Republicans adopt-its immigration xenophobia, conspiracy theories, defunding the FBI and DOJ, abandoning the US role in the world and its alliances, stolen elections, birthright citizenship, etc.?

    Rip Murdock (509171)

  97. Which MAGA positions should the Republicans adopt………

    Rip Murdock (509171) — 9/23/2023 @ 5:35 pm

    Beyond the ones they already have.

    Rip Murdock (509171)

  98. Which republican positions should the megas/populists adopt is a far better question. A.j. 20% is way to low. You only get down to 50% megas by adding deep blue state rinos and never trumpers. In red states megas/populists 70% of republicans. Look at AZ 2022 primary when never trumper ran against kari lake and AZ is purple state not red. Kari lake told rinos/never trumpers not to vote for her and leave the party!

    asset (5297f0)

  99. Leaders lead. They find ways to soften and find the least objectionable common ground. It’s how you build a big tent. Being strong on immigration….as I said above…is probably the least objectionable. Same with being strong on China with trade. Much of what MAGA appears to want is rhetoric to give them the sense that the politician cares.

    We’re heading for a defining election. If Trump is nominated, I think…absent a disaster in the economy or with Biden’s health…the Democrats cruise to victory. Then, Trump’s legal predicaments intensify. I too doubt he goes to prison, but I think he will need to deal and he will fade away which will leave MAGA defanged.

    If Trump somehow prevails in the election, then previous poor choices coupled with awful justice optics suggest he will need to get removed sooner rather than later. Another defining moment which will provide yet another opportunity for Republicans to abandon ship. It will be a crisis where the Constitution will be on the ropes.

    I’m on record acknowledging that the GOP is foundering for relevance…like the whigs. MAGA is too incomprehensible to lead…again it’s a Twinkees movement. Could it find a new God to pray to? Sure. It’s why the thought-leaders of the GOP need a shakeup as much as anything. What was taken over has to be taken back.

    AJ_Liberty (52a7c9)

  100. This was said of hitler and his opposition who would not agree. He had cared more then they! 1932. 2016. 2024?

    asset (c359ed)

  101. Dana I appreciate this post

    You know who gets a fire hose of free publicity every day. This is integral within the Democrat agenda, as it motivates their base, neverwho and female GOP and independent leans toward Biden. Who benefits because he fund raises off of negative publicity. The losers are the people that want better than Biden-Newsom or Who

    Please stop throwing Who/Brer Rabbit into the briar patch. We must know by now he lives/thrives there, yes?

    steveg (faa4c9)

  102. @102. You’re telling her not to talk about the GOP’s likely nominee for President. In what world does that make sense? However much you cover your eyes and stick your fingers in your ears, a major party’s leading Presidential candidate is newsworthy.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  103. “a major party’s leading Presidential candidate is newsworthy”

    In this case its been Chicken/Egg since the staged show at the escalator

    News is one thing.

    Endlessly editorializing is not news. You seem to enjoy the endless editorializing, thousands of hours of opinion coverage, which is fine, but don’t act shocked when he emerges from the place where he thrives with more cash and a louder voice.

    steveg (faa4c9)

  104. Pseudologia fantastica.

    Trump will not be deterred. One of the components of his pathology is heedlessness of consequences.

    He can only be stopped. And that will happen only if enough people see him for what he is.

    nk (f7237a)

  105. I’ve never understood the notion that if we just don’t say Beetlejuice three times, he will disappear, oxygen will reappear in the room, and the grass will get greener. That’s fantasy, right?

    We are in a primary…and perhaps face the last opportunity to replace Trump with someone normal. I get Trump criticism fatigue…I do. I can imagine Hunter fatigue on the other side. But we already have right-wing media soft shoe going on….and it hasn’t appeared to help drive down Trump’s numbers or drive up a credible alternative. It seems that circling the wagon doesn’t actually hurt the candidate. Who would have thought!?

    If nothing else, it’s good therapy to be concerned that a major party is heading for the ditch. I just wish more understood that the ditch is a bad thing…

    AJ_Liberty (72b526)

  106. No, AJ, steveg is right. If Trump wins in ’24, it’s definitely Dana’s fault, not that of the people who support and vote for him.

    lurker (cd7cd4)


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