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TRUMP UNSTOPPABLE? Anti-Trump GOP Forces Starting to Implode

In an article originally published by Politico magazine and adapted here, Jonathan Martin explores the mounting challenges faced by Republicans seeking to prevent Donald Trump from securing the GOP nomination for the presidential race. The article speculates whether recent events signal the unraveling of the grand plan to thwart Trump’s bid for the nomination.

According to high-level Republican lawmakers, donors, and strategists who have engaged in discussions with Martin, the anti-Trump camp had envisioned an endgame strategy for the primary. This strategy involved influential figures connected to lagging candidates staging a political intervention, urging them to drop out and rally behind the strongest alternative to Trump once it became clear who was consolidating support.

While this plan appeared somewhat far-fetched, given the self-interest commonly observed among politicians, the immense desire among elite Republicans to move beyond Trump provided some hope for a “do-the-right-thing” effort. However, as spring transitions into summer, the notion of such a coordinated effort seems more like wishful thinking than a viable strategy.

The recent developments suggest that if Trump does emerge as the GOP standard-bearer, this week will be remembered as the turning point where a divided opposition allowed him to capitalize on their fragmentation, just as he did in 2016.

The first blow to the anti-Trump forces came with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis‘ lackluster campaign launch. His underwhelming preannouncement period and a perceived weakening among political insiders did not bode well for his chances. DeSantis’ decision to begin his campaign on a faltering Twitter stream delighted his Republican rivals, including Trump, who regarded him as weaker than ever.

Moreover, DeSantis’ strained relationship with the press has not helped his cause. Negative headlines and media coverage can significantly impact Republican primary voters, who are susceptible to such influences.

In another significant development, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina entered the race, accompanied by influential figures such as Senator John Thune and billionaire Larry Ellison. Thune’s public endorsement of Scott signaled acceptance from the pre-Trump GOP establishment, sending a message to the Republican donor class. Additionally, Thune hinted at more Republican lawmakers supporting Scott privately, if not for their concerns about angering Trump. Thune even mentioned the demographic groups that Scott’s candidacy could potentially attract, further bolstering his appeal.

The support from Ellison, who is prepared to spend tens of millions of dollars on Scott’s behalf, adds another dimension to the race. With substantial financial backing, Scott’s campaign gains longevity, as campaigns often end due to financial constraints. Ellison’s involvement signifies the potential difficulties of coalescing against Trump.

Scott’s announcement speech, which seamlessly blended elements of the Black church and the mega church, struck a chord with Republicans who seek a less confrontational alternative to Trump. While it remains to be seen if Scott can emerge as Trump’s top rival or secure the nomination, his message appeals to a particular constituency.

The article also highlights other potential contenders and their impact on the race. Glenn Youngkin’s consideration of a presidential bid, despite denials, demonstrates the lingering desire within the party for an alternative option. However, history has shown that late entrants into the race have struggled in modern primaries.

The article underscores Trump’s delight in the prospect of more candidates dividing the opposition. His response to Scott’s entry, gleefully noting that the primary “is rapidly loading up with lots of people,” encapsulates Trump’s confidence.

Even Nikki Haley, the first candidate to enter the race after Trump, took a swipe at DeSantis rather than targeting the frontrunner. This move highlights the challenges non-Trump Republicans face in confronting their own voters, many of whom are staunchly loyal to the former president and dismiss critiques of him as attacks from the other tribe.

Original Article by Jonathan Martin via Politico Magazine

Check out other articles in our Political section.


#Trump #DonaldTrump #RonDeSantis #DeSantis #NikkiHaley #TimScott #GOP #Republican #Opposition

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