Opinion: Trump’s nomination in 2024 is not a done deal | Opinion

In Charlotte, the Republican Party nominated Donald Trump for a second term as president at the Republican National Convention in August 2020; he was a shoo-in for the position.

The road to the 2024 nomination will surely be steeper this time for Trump. Today’s Republican party has seen lackluster results in the 2022 elections despite an economy in near recession and an unpopular Democratic president. While the GOP searches for a way forward, the search may lead them away from the Trump-aligned past toward a fresher offering.

Photo of former President Donald Trump

A two-headed hydra

Far from a united front, Republicans’ electoral struggles have instigated a growing power struggle between the forces of Trump and the rest of the party. The failure of Trump-aligned challengers paints a dim picture for the man who has spent years shaping the GOP in his image.

Mitch McConnell, the minority leader of the Republicans in the Senate and controversial among friendly and opposing ranks alike, held off Trump’s choice of Florida’s Rick Scott for the position. In the House of Representatives, the probable future speaker Kevin McCarthy easily won against a challenge by far-right Republicans. Scott has avowedly opposed Trump, calling him “morally responsible” for the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 at the then-president’s feet, while McCarthy has straddled the line in favor of and against Trump.

Other key anti-Trump leaders in the party, namely Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia, beat Trump-backed candidates and won reelection this year. As long as influential opponents exist within the party, Trump will fight Democrats and dissatisfied Republicans on his way to the nomination.

A known quantity 

The limelight helped the dark horse candidate Trump win the nomination in 2016. Now, it could be his undoing.

Voters know who Trump is, including the many scandals and issues that lost him the reelection in the first place. He has a close connection with the events on Jan. 6, which was the subject of investigations by Congress and explored in trials for those who broke the law that day. This has yet to leave the public eye. 

More recent scandals, such as not returning classified files from the U.S. National Archives, only serve to solidify voters’ opinions of him.

The new populism that carried Trump into office against the tepid challenge of Hillary Clinton is now the mainstream of Trump’s Republican party. But as voters showed with poor Republican performances in 2018, 2020 and 2022, such ideals have lost their luster.

The DeSantis dilemma

Among the biggest threats to Trump’s hopes exists thanks to himself: Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, a former Trump ally. Since the midterm elections, DeSantis’ position has improved considerably, and in a YouGov poll, he came out ahead. As a potential anti-Trump banner to rally behind, the Florida governor benefits from a possible wealth of support within Republican ranks. 

Actual policy aside, DeSantis’ victory in forcing a more Republican-favored congressional district map through the state legislature also played a crucial role in giving the Republicans the House in 2022. He is a young face and a staunch partisan, and without the national baggage of Trump, the next two years could be a perfect opportunity to wrestle away support from the former president.

Two years

A lot can change in two years, and the election landscape may be radically different than it appears now. The Queen City may have crowned a hopeful king in 2020, but it will be up to voters in key states like North Carolina to return it or cast it to another. Whatever the case, the upcoming years are sure to define the near future of the Republican Party as we know it.

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Written by Politixia

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