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OPINION

Trump’s Influence Is Not Going Anywhere

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

The press cannot help themselves when it comes to predicting that President Trump's influence over the Republican Party is waning; they have wrongly predicted this since 2015. Nobody in the establishment took Trump’s candidacy seriously back then, and even after defeating over a dozen very impressive Republican challengers, they proclaimed he was toast against Hillary Clinton. You know the rest of the story. Now that the political pundits and news media are projecting his demise going into the 2024 election, will they once again be proven wrong? If Trump’s political history is our guide, that seems very likely. 

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Fast forward to the present moment, and you'll see reporters and pundits saying the Republican political establishment has their knives sharpened, attempting to throw Trump under the bus. It is simply not true. Every single time that Donald Trump has been on the ballot, Republicans either held the majority (2016) or gained seats (2020). The same individuals who want to blame him for losing the Senate in 2022 have amnesia from 2018 when President Trump was in the White House and Senate Republicans gained seats in the midterm elections. Funny how that is conveniently left out in the discussion. Even the New York Times is forced to admit that President Trump’s endorsement track record is impressive, 82 percent of his endorsed candidates won their races. On top of this, Trump still has high approval ratings with the Republican voter base, is defeating Ron DeSantis in poll after poll, and matches up strongly against Joe Biden in 2024.

It is also interesting that the media did not write about Obama’s waning influence in the Democrat Party after his party lost seats in the House and Senate during his presidency, including candidates Obama endorsed in key swing states in 2016 that lost: Patrick Murphy in Florida, Ted Strickland in Ohio, Patty Judge in Iowa, Deborah Ross in North Carolina, Russ Feingold in Wisconsin and Katie McGinty in Pennsylvania. Compare this to President Trump’s endorsement in key swing states this election: JD Vance won in Ohio, Ted Budd won in North Carolina, Marco Rubio won in Florida, and Chuck Grassley won in Iowa. Yes, there were losses suffered in other states such as New Hampshire, Nevada, and Georgia. But overall, Trump had a very strong endorsement record in the House and Senate. The other underrated factor is Trump’s influence in Republican leadership races; he endorsed two candidates, Kevin McCarthy for Speaker of the House and Elise Stefanik for House Republican Conference Chair. Both won their leadership races. Speaker McCarthy credited President Trump for helping move his detractors to secure the votes for Speaker. 

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As the race for the 2024 presidential election heats up, it is important to note that at the time of writing, Donald Trump is the only candidate in the Republican field. He is raising millions of dollars and remains the most powerful force in the party. Every single poll shows that his other potential challengers such as Mike Pence, Liz Cheney, Larry Hogan, Nikki Haley, and Mike Pompeo do not stand a chance against Trump. His most anticipated challenge is from Ron DeSantis, though a recent poll shows that Trump tops the Florida governor by 20 points and would defeat Joe Biden in the general election. The top concerns facing our country right now: inflation, the economy, crime, and the border are all issues that President Trump delivered on strongly for the American people. As more voters continue to sour on Joe Biden, including his own political party, watch for President Trump to surge in the polls. If President Trump can focus on his top issues, he will be able to defeat Joe Biden in 2024. 

Political pundits were wrong in 2015 about Trump and they are wrong now. The 45th president remains a powerful force in the Republican Party, the presumptive nominee in 2024, and if history is our guide, has a very good chance of becoming president again. 

Garrett Ventry is a Republican policy and communications consultant. He is a former chief of staff for Rep. Ken Buck and senior communications adviser for the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

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