How Trump Could Lose the Nomination
While's he still the favorite, Trump's grip on the nomination may be weaker than most think
The conventional wisdom is that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee. I largely agree with this assumption. Despite losing nearly every election since 2016 and racking up 78 felony counts, Trump maintains the adoration of enough of the Republican base to easily navigate a Republican primary process that favors frontrunners. As importantly, no other Republican candidates have shown the talent or toughness to exploit Donald Trump’s manifest weaknesses.
However, one thing gnaws at my gut. Those who are positive Trump will be the nominee in 2024 are the same people who were positive Trump would NOT be the nominee in 2016. Therefore, it’s worth testing that assumption. After the last few elections of unexpected outcomes, a boatload of humility is in order.
As an intellectual exercise, here’s the case for Trump losing the GOP nomination… or at least why the race may be closer than people think.
1. Early State Vulnerability
In presidential primary contests, the national polls are lagging indicators. It’s the polls from the early states that tell us the real condition of the race. Nationally, most voters are detached from the race, but in Iowa and New Hampshire, voters are more engaged. They see the candidates on the news and in their communities. Campaign ads have been airing in their states for months now. In many cases, an organizer has already called their home or knocked on their door to make a pitch for a candidate. These voters simply know more about the candidates trying to beat Trump and think more deeply about the pros and cons of Trump as the nominee.
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