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New York: Thursday, February 22, 2024
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Politics: Donald Trump's 2024 Election Chances Could Be Hurt —

POLITICS: Donald Trump’s 2024 election chances could be hurt — by Trump

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Barring some massive world shock or political upset, America is headed for a Biden-Trump rematch and another election decided by a few thousand votes in a few swing states.

We’re also headed for a narrowly divided Congress that will make it impossible for the winner to get much done.

Unless Donald Trump sees the hidden opportunity to enlarge his coalition, and manages to act on it.

His 2016 victory rested on what his opponent called “the deplorables” — people an elite out-of-touch establishment not only left behind, but despised.

Biden, with his embrace of lunatic policies (from the border to the budget to the definition of a woman), has left yet more people behind who make up a bigger “basket of deplorables.”

Trump’s not remotely there yet: He didn’t put Nikki Haley away Tuesday in New Hampshire.

It’s hard to see how she wrests the nomination from him — but his team is desperate to get her out as fast as possible because she’s crystalizing some Republican (or common-sense) leaning anti-Trump votes for November.

The Trumpies are puzzled at why the “soccer moms” dislike him, but it’s obvious enough: The continued election denial, the consequent Jan. 6 riot and the very qualities that are central to his appeal with his base — his crudity, his nonstop insults, his swagger. 

These turn off many he should be naturally attracting. MAGA must confront the reality that a base is a base, by definition, it is something to build on.

These voters (not all moms, nor even all women, by the way) matter: An 11-point victory in a New Hampshire primary is no great shakes for a guy who’s effectively an incumbent, making his boasts of historic victories somewhat empty.

But many of these voters (and, yes, some of Nikki’s) are gettable: the ones Biden’s disasters have hit the hardest and disillusioned the most.

We’re thinking about the victims of the worst inflation in decades, which has left real wages still below his first day in office.

And the victims of Biden’s decision to let anyone across the border, not just burdening the communities the illegal migrants wind up in, but slamming every community with deadly fentanyl and directly threatening working-class jobs.

Those two strikes alone explain the president’s hemorrhaging support with blacks and Hispanics.

Beyond that, there’s the simple fact that Biden has cast his lot fully with the “woke elite”: the ones eager to ban gas stoves and mandate electric cars; to impose racial quotas and lunatic DEI mandates everywhere; to force biological males into women’s sports and bathrooms and on and on and on.

Regular Americans are also maddened by this president’s feckless bugout from Afghanistan and equally feckless approach to the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East.

It’s also not hyperbole to emphasize what is at stake this November. The consequences of this election could define America for decades to come.

A generic Republican would destroy Biden, but a generic Democrat would beat Trump, because he infuriates so many people.

Can Trump learn at all not to hurt himself and take advantage of the historic opportunity disastrous Biden has laid before the GOP? 

His awful victory speech in New Hampshire suggests not.

Most people have pretty well given up on asking Trump to change, but maybe he can modulate enough to get out of his own way.

His movement has always been bigger than him; if he can let this election be mostly about Biden, not him, it’ll grow even more.



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