As we draw closer to November’s midterm elections, the focus, more so than usual, seems to be on what comes after rather than the tight races ahead.
With a Republican majority in the House seemingly a foregone conclusion and a favorable outlook for the Senate, the struggle between factions within the Republican party have been thrust into the forefront.
In one corner we have the MAGA movement, featuring the Republicans’ most recent representative in the White House and arguably the favorite to win the nomination for 2024, Donald Trump.
In the other, we have the mainstream Republican party, who are in the preliminary stages of figuring out who can beat Trump.
Our party is going through a realignment. Anyone could tell you that. But few could tell you the conclusion of this realignment.
I won’t pretend to know where this leads, but to many Republicans, myself especially, it is blatantly obvious that Donald Trump gives us the worst chance of winning back the presidency in 2024.
It’s not as if there’s a lack of support for Trump, he has millions of devout supporters nationwide. Still, there is a sizable force of Republicans who will not vote for Trump another time. Polling from Axios indicates that half of Republicans wouldn’t vote for Trump in a primary. We already know that Trump thrives in a split field though, and would likely be able to overcome much of this opposition for a general election.
More alarming for Trump is the fact that the same poll showed nearly 20% of Republican voters said he “went so far that he threatened American democracy” on January 6th. This block of voters would be a struggle for Trump to overcome.
Could Trump beat Joe Biden in a rematch? Maybe. He might even be favored in that fight. However, there are a number of other candidates who stand a far better chance in a bout with Biden or potentially a stronger Democrat candidate.
Why would we choose to nominate a man who has so much baggage? Why would we choose to nominate a man who, if he does win, is already precluded from running for reelection in 2028? Why would we put forward our worst chance of winning?
America needs a Republican candidate that can appeal to the Trump lovers who doesn’t come with the baggage that Trump has. There is no shortage of GOP leaders lining up for their chance at the presidency. Ron DeSantis, Glenn Youngkin, and Mike Pence all seem to be mulling over potential campaigns, and many more lurk in the background.
We do not have to settle for Trump. There are candidates that can capture Trump’s populist appeal while remaining grounded in genuine conservative principles, not to mention devoid of the countless scandals of the former president.
Our most difficult path to victory is the one that follows Donald Trump. Ignoring his faults as a leader entirely—which are a topic for a future article—Republicans should be in the business of winning in 2024, not maintaining their allegiance to one man. Republicans need to keep it simple and play to win the game.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.