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OPINION

Even If Trump Could Win in 2024, Why Bother?

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

As the red wave disappointed almost everywhere but Florida, Democrats still face a steep uphill climb re-electing President Biden in 2024 (or electing his replacement).

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Crime, illegal immigration, and the economy top the concerns of American voters, and Republicans are stronger on those fronts than their opponents, who would rather obsess over niche social issues.

Sleepy Joe’s approval rating is well below 40 percent. Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track. They’re sick of liberal politicians who peddle identity politics instead of governing. They’re fed up with radical agenda items being mainstreamed—from transgender pronouns to “Critical Race Theory” and AOC’s latest Twitter wish list.

All the while, food and gas prices continue to tick up. A recession looms. Biden’s legacy—on the economy, domestic policy, and foreign policy—is a failed legacy. And his failure makes him a very tempting target.

Two years into a failed Biden presidency, Republican candidates—new and old—are taking advantage. Yet there is still no Republican stronger than Donald Trump – or so it seemed.

I’m a staunch supporter of the Trump presidency, having voted for him in 2016 and 2020. I was proud to cast those votes then, and I remain proud today.

Trump is obviously tempted to run against Biden and beat him. And he could do it, given his enduring popularity within conservative circles and the current state of affairs on the Left.

But why re-enter the political fray now? Despite the lackluster performance of several critical endorsements – from PA to MI – Trump’s role as kingmaker could still be strong. Rising stars like Ted Budd, Kari Lake, and J.D. Vance owe much of their success to Trump, and they know it. Lake openly calls herself a “Trump candidate.” His is the ring everyone must kiss.

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But that political clout alone isn’t enough for Trump to win in 2024. He would have to dominate the Republican primaries, clearing out yet another crowded field of worthy contenders. Because of the residue from 2020, Trump would need to invest even more time, money, and effort than before, convincing former supporters to vote for him again.

That’s not a foregone conclusion. Trump’s base is no longer unquestionably intact, (especially after the fizzling of the red wave). Roughly half of Republican voters don’t want him to run again. Swing voters are even less convinced, with over two-thirds of Independents steadfastly opposed to another Trump run.

Once you lose swing voters, it’s extremely difficult to get them back. Doing so isn’t impossible, especially for a man of such unique political prowess, but is it worth the time, money, and effort?

Trump is essentially the Godfather of Republican politics, grooming the next generation of leaders to take over the family. He can achieve all of his policy goals through them, working the levers of power without taking on any political risk. Why take on added risk when the seeds of MAGA politics from 2016 are sprouting again in 2022, ushering in a historic red wave?

Trump has nothing left to gain and nothing left to prove. He has done it all, and then some. From becoming a billionaire celebrity to winning the White House, Trump is an American success story of epic proportions.

The Republican Party is in much, much better hands because of Trump now than it was in 2012 or 2016. But the man himself doesn’t need to be in the trenches anymore. There’s no reason to trigger the relentless, unjustified media attacks that follow Trump wherever he goes. There’s no reason to have one’s family members dragged through the mud again, and through no fault of their own.

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And there is no reason to take on the risk—and burden—of trying to win back fickle swing voters in a general election. As a candidate, Trump could win or lose, but as the Godfather, he can claim all of the victories and none of the defeats, while continuing to build his brand as the preeminent political power in America.

Trump should make Republicans beat Democrats from afar, like they will on Tuesday, reaping the rewards of political success without the risk. Five-star generals leave the fighting to soldiers on the ground.

Shaun McCutcheon is a Free Speech advocate, an Alabama-based electrical engineer, founder of Multipolar, and was the successful plaintiff in the 2014 Supreme Court case McCutcheon v. FEC.

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