It's Not Goodbye, President Trump. It's See You Later (Probably).

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Posted: Jan 22, 2021 2:05 PM
It's Not Goodbye, President Trump. It's See You Later (Probably).

Source: AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Donald Trump is no longer president. It’s not the result we wanted. Without a doubt, if COVID didn’t hit, Trump would have won re-election in a landslide. But that didn’t happen. Now, we’re left with a Biden presidency, a Democratic Congress, and a liberal media establishment that’s in total euphoria that Trump is no longer president. It’s irritating but if you take a step back, it could be fun throwing their nonsense right back at their faces. For example, the liberal media and Democrats have a mask fetish over COVID, but it’s totally fine to take them off and violate Biden’s own executive order if you’re celebrating. Hey, that’s what Press Secretary Jen Psaki said to explain the Biden family on federal property without masks. 

In the meantime, Congress is taking up the latest articles of impeachment against Trump for the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill which Democrats allege he incited. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been coy regarding where he’ll land on impeachment. He’s furious at Trump, blames him for losing the GOP majority in the Senate, and is supposedly going to use this impeachment trial to purge Trumpism from the GOP.

Here’s the thing. Trumpism isn’t going anywhere. It’s why we shouldn’t truly say goodbye, Mr. Trump. To quote the film John Q, it’s not goodbye; it’s see you later. Probably. Even now, Trump commands the base. It’s his party. Period. Around 40 percent of the GOP are total Trump loyalists. Is that good or bad? Who cares? It’s what the situation is now and trying to remove that or purge it is loaded with peril. 

You’d think the Capitol Hill riot would kill any future political plans. Not with Trump. One poll has his support with GOP voters dipping by 12 points. That’s recoverable and in four years, who knows what the landscape will look like. He’s also eons ahead of potential Republicans who might toss their hat into the 2024 ring (via Morning Consult) [emphasis mine]:

Forty-two percent of GOP voters said in a new Morning Consult/Politico survey that they would vote for Trump if the 2024 Republican presidential primary were held today, down 12 percentage points from a Nov. 21-23 poll. The latest poll was conducted Jan. 8-11 among 595 Republican voters, with a 4-point margin of error.

The decline in backing dovetails with another finding in the survey that could signal diminished intraparty clout during Trump’s post-presidency period: Trump’s job approval among GOP voters, at 75 percent, is the lowest share of support in Morning Consult/Politico polling since August 2017, when 73 percent approved. Trump’s approval rating of 34 percent among all voters also represents his worst review from the electorate in Morning Consult/Politico surveys conducted during his presidency.

Trump’s weakened standing within the party isn’t giving any of the other potential horses in the race a major leg up, however.

Support for Vice President Mike Pence has ticked up by 4 points since November while Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah and Ted Cruz of Texas saw respective 3- and 2-point increases during that time period. Nikki Haley, the former two-term governor of South Carolina and United Nations ambassador, polled at 5 percent, up 1 point since November.

If Trump decides to run again, barring not being convicted in the Senate, he’ll clear the field. Whether he does want to run again is an entirely different story. I wouldn’t blame him for not wanting to run again and enjoy his millions in retirement at Mar-a-Lago. The issue then is can he get his base of support to vote for his successor, someone who he has handpicked as someone who could keep the MAGA war cry going. That remains to be seen and oftentimes political coalitions aren’t transferable. Hillary Clinton thought she could take the reins of the Obama coalition. That was a gross miscalculation and we’ve seen what happens to GOP turnout when Trump isn’t on the ballot. That’s the wild card, but some vestige of Trumpism will be back in 2024. We’ll just have to wait and see.