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Donald "The Spoiler" Trump-- A Spoiler? Who Could Imagine Any Such Thing!

The Bulwark released a Dynata national poll of registered Republican voters yesterday, dividing respondents into two groups, those who see themselves as primarily a Trump supporter and those who see themselves as primarily a Republican Party supporter. We’ll call the first group MAGAts. And responses from the two groups are not uniform. For example, asked what’s more important, enacting conservative policies to improve peoples’ lives, or holding the Biden Administration accountable for its actions, 56% of Republicans but just 35% of MAGAts said enacting conservative policies are more important. Most MAGAts (54%) are primarily interested in holding the Biden administration accountable, whereas just 39% of Republicans chose that answer.

The poll looked at several potential presidential nominees to see who voters see favorably and unfavorably. We’re just going to look at the 3 candidates who have significant support:


  • GOP- 54% favorable, 42% unfavorable

  • MAGA- 98% favorable, 2% unfavorable


  • GOP- 71% favorable, 11% unfavorable

  • MAGA- 79% favorable, 6% unfavorable


  • GOP- 71% favorable, 29% unfavorable

  • MAGA- 46% favorable, 45% unfavorable

If the primary election was held today and Trump and DeSantis were the only candidates, 12% of Republican-first voters and 70% of MAGAts would vote for Trump, while 70% of Republican-first voters and 20% of MAGAts would vote for DeSantis.

If the general election were held today and voters had to choose between Biden or DeSantis running as a Republican and Trump running as an independent, DeSantis would get 56% of the GOP vote, Trump would get 28% and Biden would get 5%. 69% of MAGAts said they would opt for Trump in this 3-way match-up. But would Trump really run as a third party candidate if he loses to DeSantis, which looks increasingly likely? Of course no one knows for sure, probably not Señor Trumpanzee and the people around him included. But yesterday Jonathan Last decided to explore the possibility. He noted that "Certain members of the Match Throwing Club . . . scoffed at this idea. Ross Douthat explains that, 'Trump is unlikely to run third party and 28 percent of the GOP primary base isn't actually going to vote for a spoiler if it's DeSantis v. Biden.'... Douthat does not have a perfect history of understanding what Donald Trump will or will not do:

Last acknowledged that he also doesn’t “know that Trump would run a third-party campaign if he lost the Republican nomination. But I do know that if Trump were to lose the Republican nominating contest, he could bring in a lot of money by running a third-party campaign. And if the question is: ‘Trump could make a lot of money by doing X; will he do X?’ Well, then the answer is usually: Yes.

Yesterday, in his Bulwark newsletter, Joe Perticone reminded his followers that “Because Trump had been winking about running as an independent if he didn't win the nomination, the loyalty issue was posed in the very first question at the first Republican primary debate in August 2015— and sure enough, Trump was the only person on stage unwilling to commit to supporting the nominee unless it was him. He reached a deal in September with then-RNC Chair Reince Priebus to sign a loyalty pledge, but reneged on it in the spring of 2016 after the giant initial field had narrowed to three candidates and he felt a bit threatened… The spoiler threat that Trump leveraged during the 2016 primary could become more than a threat in 2024. His grip on the Republican base, his ego, and his tired, lackluster performance in the new cycle have combined to give his new campaign a very different spin from the one he launched almost eight years ago. While voters know him, they’re also tiring of him; they increasingly see him as stuck in the past, which leaves him in a vulnerable position in relation to the aggressive and forward-looking Ron DeSantis.”

He wondered out loud what the GOP can do “to prevent a renegade breakaway candidate from pulling a chunk of the base away from the party’s nominee? One Republican operative I spoke with suggested there could be another pledge. But given that Trump broke his own pledge while he was still the favorite to win the party’s nomination, it’s hard to imagine him sticking to it with more challenging prospects. Right now, it seems as though the best bet for Republicans who want a nominee other than Trump is for them to pray that he bows out quietly. (Don’t hold your breath.)”

There will— as there always is— more coming out to make Trump stink like shit. The poll showed that though there is a hardcore element that will never care— the AlwaysTrumpers— his support has been slowly, even glacially, been chipped away.

Just yesterday the latest hypocrisy tapes were released by CBS regarding Trump taking the 5th amendment (over 400 times in 4 hours). First watch this from 5 months ago:

And this one that came out yesterday is from 5 weeks ago when Trump was forced to give a deposition in one of his New York court cases:

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