The Republican Party discovered in the recent midterm elections that the shadow of Donald Trump hanging over the GOP is an albatross that cost them a bigger majority in the House and control of the Senate.
But 2022 could wind up looking like a landslide victory if one of four “doomsday scenarios” take place two years from now.
David Byler, a political data analyst for the Washington Post, explains in a fascinating op-ed what may be awaiting the GOP with Trump running for president once again in 2024, and none of them is the least bit positive. In fact, any one of them could lead to the complete collapse of the party, Byler notes.
“Many believe GOP voters are ready to move on from the former president, but we all remember the 2016 primary. In that race, Trump had roughly 35 percent of Republican voters behind him, and multiple opponents split an anti-Trump majority. Trump won state after state — and the nomination — with just a plurality of the vote. Trump’s foes are right to fear a repeat of 2016, but they’re thinking too small. There are so many other ways the primary could turn out badly for them.”
Here are the four scenarios to look for in 2024:
Trump loses, storms off and sabotages the nominee: Since Trump has never really been a “loyal Republican,” he might just decide to create his own party and run against both the Democratic and GOP presidential nominees, which would be fatal for whoever winds up winning the Republican nomination. Byler explains, “If a hurt, petulant Trump shaved just a couple of percentage points off the Republican vote share, he could hand the Democrats another term in the White House.”
Trump gains a weak lead — and the 2012 clown car returns: 2012 was the year Mitt Romney won the GOP nomination and proceeded to lose to President Barack Obama by an electoral vote margin of 332-206. “Even if they coalesce behind one candidate and avoid the mistakes of 2016, their champion might not have staying power.”
Republicans stick with a flawed Trump alternative: Who would be the flawed Trump alternative? Probably Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who doesn’t wear well over time and is widely hated among a majority of independent voters.
Trump plays the hits and wins outright: This is the worst scenario for the GOP, because it would guarantee that the Republican Party officially becomes the Party of Trump. “This would be a true worst-case scenario for the anti-Trump GOP. The majority of voters would have rejected them and thrown a scandal-ridden candidate with a dismal 34 percent overall favorability rating into yet another general election.”
In other words, Trump may wind up fully destroying the GOP with his 2024 bid to be their nominee. How’s that for the ultimate irony?