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Is Trump’s base shrinking?

Is Trump’s base shrinking?

(Disclaimer:  I expect a lot of blow-back from the hardcore Trump supporters.  But I have spent my entire life as a commentator and political pundit calling them like I see them.  That does not mean that I am always happy with what I see and report.)

Yes, I believe President Trump’s base is shrinking.  You can see that in the polls and anecdotally in the number of folks who are moving away from even considering the former President for any future run.  I saw it in 2020 with the number of former Trump voters who were switching sides or not voting. 

To understand any reduction in the support for a second term for President Trump, we need to understand that his so-called based of undying loyalists was never as large as the media contends.  They are inflating the reality to create an oversized straw man to use as the opponent in the 2022 midterm election.  They contend that every Republican who is not openly critical of Trump is his base – and they are all a mix of conspiratorial theories, insurrectionists and intolerance nutcases.  That is a lie … a HUGE LIE.

Even though Trump is not on the ballot in 2022, the left wants the election all about him – or at least the Trump they characterize.  The Democrats internal polls likely show them that is the issues dominated the minds of the 2022 voters, they lose … big time. 

The left is desperate to make the 2022 election all about Trump.  So … they have to inflate his influence over the Republican Party – calling it “the party of Trump” — and then demonize the inflated caricature.  They would like American voters to believe that Trump is all but certain to be the GOP presidential candidate in 2024 – and that is a bad thing.  They then use Trump to use the broad-brush of propaganda to demonize the entire Republican Party.

Personally, I do not believe that Trump is a cinch to be the Republican standard bearer in 2024.  In fact, I think the chance is less than 50/50 if he decides to run for a second term. I can see scenarios by which he COULD win the nomination – and even the election – but the odds are against him.  He would again need a very large field of contenders to divide up the vote to secure the nomination. 

Polls that currently show that Trump as the favored candidate do not have serious candidates as a head-to-head comparison.  Once other candidates emerge and the campaign is based on more than speculation, Trump will face a serious challenge. It is possible – albeit unlikely – that his presence in the race would scare out all credible opponents.  I feel certain, however, that there will be other candidates.

It does appear that Trump is driving away support with his pugnacious attacks on a swath of Republican leaders.  Since the 2020 election, Trump has attacked former Vice President Pence, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, former Attorney General Robert Barr, Senator Mike Lee, Senator Lindsey Graham and an untold number of Republican state officials.  

I tend to admire these folks for doing a good job for the conservative cause.  All these people are in office because the voters put them there.  They have a following, and Trump’s fitful attacks are turning off folks who might otherwise stick with Trump.  

Those who have read my commentaries know that I draw a distinction between the Trump policies and the Trump personality.  I admire the former and abhor the latter.  But I understand that the personality has undermined the policies.  He has made himself – and the GOP – an easy target for the most outrageous attacks from Democrats and the left-wing news media.  

Democrats were successful in making Trump a deciding issue in the past two elections.  I believe that he is the reason the GOP lost the House in the 2018 midterm election – and the Senate in 2020. 

Trump’s popularity rating is falling.  It was never above 50 percent and now it is reaching the mid to low 20 percentile.  One does not win elections with those numbers.  To be a serious contender in 2024, Trump will have to improve those numbers.  And so far, he has not shown the capacity to do so.

Another sign that Trump is fading as a future presidential contender is that old issue of crowd size.  Yes, we are not in the midst of a heated campaign, but even taking that into account, the number of folks attending his rallies is diminishing.

As the former Republican President, Trump has following and influence in the Party – but he does not own the Party.  Nor is the Party some sort of cult-of-personality as the left contends.  There are tens of millions of Americans who will be voting for Republican candidates in 2022.  But the vast majority are not being driven by allegiance to Trump.  They are being driven by the issues and a dedication to conservative American principles.  As in 2016, the Republican voter will be casting their ballots more “against” than “for.”

I truly believe that what will motivate Republican voters in 2022 is what motivated them in 2016 – rejection of the far-left candidates and policies of the Democratic Party.  The question is whether Trump can ride that tide as he did in 2016.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

20 Comments

  1. Ernie Di Francesco

    If you’re so smart why did you call Barr Robert?

    Reply
    • larry Horist

      Thanks for the proof reading. I write approximately 40 of these commentaries per month. Being smart does not mean being perfect. I hope you sharp eye does not mean you discard the commentary, itself. But thanks.

      Reply
  2. Tom

    I agree Larry. We unaffiliated voters feel the same way! Yet the GOP does little to get our attention. Far right seems to be running the party. And there is a riff between far right and RINOs. It will be interesting.

    Reply
    • Joseph S. Bruder

      I find it interesting that you divide the party between “far right” and “RINO’s”. if Reagan or Nixon were alive today, both would be considered liberal compared to today’s far right. They WERE the heart of the Republican party, now you’d call them RINO’s. Of course, Reagan’s southern strategy set the stage for today’s far right… but Nixon was more-or-less an environmentalist, and even though he fought against his impeachment, the Watergate break-in barely cleared the bar for average in Trump’s administration, and Nixon was honorable enough to at least resign rather than let impeachment tarnish the government (any more than he had already).

      But Nixon and Reagan, as well as the Republican Party of their times, had working relations with Democrats in Congress and in general tried to improve the lives of most Americans – compared to the current far-right Republican Party, whose only interest is getting re-elected and shoveling as much money to the ultra-rich (and themselves) as they can. Republicans pushed Nixon to resign rather than cover up for him. And even though Clinton was caught up in a minor sex scandal and was hurt politically, most Republicans realized that it didn’t rise to an impeachable offense and voted to acquit. Would the Republican Party of that era have put up with Trump’s love-affair with Putin and other dictators, or his attempts to damage NATO in an obvious attempt to help Russia, or his attempted blackmail of the Ukrainian leader? It seems like both sides back then at least cared about constituents and the good of the country. They rarely agreed on anything, but they worked together to hammer out compromises and solve problems.

      Reply
  3. Dan Tyree

    Larry I don’t know about Trump’s base but the polls for Biden are not good at all. I really don’t believe that Trump will run again but whomever gets the Republican nomination has my vote even if I have to hold my nose. But if it were Liz Cheney I would have to also close my eyes Trump wasn’t my first choice. In our 2016 primary I voted for Ted Cruz. But I damned sure wouldn’t vote for what we have now

    Reply
    • Joseph S. Bruder

      Trump, on his best day, never made it above 40% in the polling. Biden has taken a hit or two lately, and is still close to 50%. And there’s not a single Republican in Congress that would poll higher than 20% right now (right down there with Trump). Vote for whomever you’d like, they’re going to lose anyway.

      Reply
  4. frank stetson

    Even though that’s a thoughtful treatment, the one incredibly critical factor is: who cares?

    I care what Trump did, not what he might do. I care to prosecute him for what he did, not listen to his lie about tomorrow.

    The rest is all noise, yesterday’s news, his disciples are literally following his call to their deaths. Overwhelmingly, this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and they can be found in Trump country. As the dust settles, it becomes more and more apparent where the 2,000 Americans who die every day now, it becomes more apparent where they live and who they are. That’s got to chill some votes, one way or the other.

    Larry, I disagree about Trump being on the 2022 ticket. His personality is there, his politics are there, his tactics of hatred are already there. All over the place. And he’s backing over 40 of them, a move no other President, especially one running for office, has ever done. His personality is all over the place. There’s so much Trump out there supported by so much Trump power, that real Republicans are backing away from these races to sit it out for a cycle versus risking the political rath of Trumpers just having a different idea. A number of folks in the Republican party are quitting because they are afraid, not for themselves, but for their families being targeted by Trumpers. You can go with, “it’s only a few, no worse than Antifa,” but hey — it’s your party attacking your party. Last I checked, we don’t quite have that issue on the other side of the aisle.

    That’s a yuge difference Larry and how you can continue to hold your nose for personality because you think you are a winner on programs and policies is beyond me. Larry, unless you allow me to blame Trump for any Joe/Kamala’s issues popping up until 2028, no, you can’t use that: “but I don’t like him personally” crap. At this point, you’re in lock, stock, and demeaning tweet. In for this pecker, you’re in for the whole pound. You just sound really whinny about it at this point.

    Reply
    • Dan Tyree

      Retard and heels up won’t be around until 2028. You don’t hate Trump. You hate the idea of people rejecting commiecrats. Face the facts. Retard is losing ground and his super fuck us in Afghanistan is just for starters. I don’t personally believe that Trump will be on the ballot in 2024. But either way, the old fool will never govern me. And more than you think feels the same way. The commiecrats are scared shitless about the midterms and it’s going to be a red wave. More people today have realized that the government isn’t on our side

      Reply
  5. Lee

    Well, Frank, you’re not an expert on what conservatives think!! As far as covid vaccines go, you’re dumber than a box of rocks!! Believe it or not, some of us are following the science & not the liberal rhetoric spit out daily by the media! If the FDA voted 16-2 against covid boosters, don’t you think it may be a reason to look into why!

    Reply
    • Joseph S. Bruder

      What makes you think that Larry is an expert on what Democrats think? In fact, he regularly makes wild-ass statements about what liberals or Democrats or progressives are thinking or doing, and he’s usually pretty far off base.

      I’m curious about where you get your science, and what it’s telling you? Are you vaccinated? Because that’s what science is telling people to do. The absolute safest way to treat COVID is to not get sick in the first place. You can wear masks and social distance and stay away from crowds, and/or you can get a vaccine. Second best is to be vaccinated – even if you do get COVID you’re unlikely to have to go to the hospital., Once you have the virus, you’re up against hospitals and health care workers that are overwhelmed, various folk-remedies (like horse dewormer, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, vitamins C/D/Zinc whatever, whatsit-quine) that are not only not proven to work, most are known to be harmful to humans. And there’s still that pesky 2% death rate, and the risk of infecting your friends and family.

      The reason why the FDA is not coming out 100% for boosters is that they feel that it may be taking first vaccinations away from people who are not currently vaccinated – either in the US or on the world market. While that could be a factor in the world market (even with the US buying and donating doses to poorer countries}, in the US it’s become a disease of people who choose not to be vaxxed for political reasons (i.e. some very stupid people). Did you know that the US has over 50% of the currently active COVID cases in the WORLD? If everyone in the US had gotten vaccinated, that number would be closer to 0%.

      Reply
  6. Joseph S. Bruder

    The three or four of us that regulary take Larry to task have been saying since the election that Trump’s base is shrinking. Contrary to Larry’s thinking, though, the election will not be about Trump – it will be about the damage he did to our country, and the Republicans who enabled him. Republicans continue to follow Trump like lemmings going over a cliff. They repeat the Big Lie that Trump won the election, which undermines our democracy. They blame Biden for Trump’s failed policies, even as they block all legislation and appointments.

    Democrats and a lot of Independents will be as motivated in 2022 and 2024 as they were in 2020. Nobody wants to risk another Trump-lite getting into office.

    Reply
    • Arthur J Hess

      It wasn’t a big lie. Trump did win. Our country would be so much better off today if things were done fairly. And lying bastards in the news and on the courts allowed it to happen

      Reply
      • frank stetson

        Yes Arthur,

        You have been lied to, you have been cheated, you have been used, abused, and fell for the ruse. We have never won an election, they are all cheats. The only time we lost is when we were outcheated. The media lies, Arthur tells the truth. The Big Lie is not a lie, Arthur knows it. After 50 lost cases, most for lack of evidence, the lawyers lie, the judge lied. After Trumps legal team got sanctioned, fined, sent back for remedial ethics training, for wasting the court’s time, and referred to their states for possible sanctions and disbarment, obviously those judges lied and cheated and couldn’t accept The BIG LIE as the truth Art knows. Trump’s Ninja Turtles lied about the AZ recount, then they were forced to lie again when they gave their final report. They were even made to look uber stupid by making them lie about their own findings. The Michigan recount was a lie. The Wisconsin recount was a lie. January 6th never happened and Pence lied about certifying the election.

        Trump has never conceded so he is still President. Oh yes, living the truth. Pass the horse worming medicine, chase it will some bleach and hand me a UV light I can shove up my ass to see the truth.

        Man, the Russians don’t even have to tamper. Art is tampered through and through already :>)

        Reply
  7. Frank stetson

    Lee, don’t think I attempted to be an expert in Republication thoughts. Not sure what you mean.

    But I am pretty up on the vaccines, who is taking them, and who is dying.

    90% of dems adults have a shot; Around 50% for Republicans. It’s a pandemic of the unvaccinated; the vaccinated basically rarely get hospitalized, most don’t die.; if there is a break through, the vaccinated usually have mild symptoms. Wanna guess the make up of the 2,000 that die every day now.

    Not sure what you mean about fda denying the booster; did AZ do another recount…. Uh, the FDA did vote approval for the booster for 65+, at risk, and the CDC out front line workers on top. NJ is already giving them for example. The others will be added, as needed in time. It’s a matter of when, not if. Bad to be schooled by a box of rocks. Ouch.

    Reply
    • Dan Tyree

      Some of us are using vitamin treatments such as E and D and others on advice from doctors. Not a bunch of whining pussies in the government. I rely on what really works. The commiecrats should worry about joe’s dementia and leave the rest of us alone. No worries here. I’ll be just fine. The vaccine isn’t a catch all prevention. Thousands have died with Covid after being fully vaccinated. More efforts should be made to punish the chinks for intentionally infecting us. A start would be seizing any assets in America that’s owned by China. But since the commiecrats colluded with them to cause the so called pandemic, several of them would be caught in the net

      Reply
      • Joseph S. Bruder

        Danny Boy, just how is it that YOU know the bad doctors that are recommending vitamins instead of a vaccine? All the doctors I’ve talked to or heard about from real live people say “get the damned vaccine!”. Any doctors making that recommendation should lose their licenses.

        Show your evidence of vaccinated people dying of COVID. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports:

        Among those states reporting data on “breakthrough” cases for the fully vaccinated, the case rate is well below 1 percent. The hospitalization rate ranges from “effectively zero” to .06 percent. And there’s this: “The rates of death among fully vaccinated people with COVID-19 were even lower, effectively zero (0.00%) in all but two reporting states, Arkansas and Michigan[,] where they were 0.01%.”

        That number again, “Effectively zero.”

        Danny Boy, compare that to the 2% death rate among the unvaccinated. That’s one out of fifty who get COVID die from it. Every one of them left behind family and friends who will miss them (but probably not their Trumpian views!). How many family members will you leave behind, Danny? What are the financial consequences for your family? Are they going to have to go on the dreaded welfare? Or required assistance from the awful government? How many of them will you infect on your way down the drain? How will you feel if members of your family die from COVID but you don’t? Or are they smart enough to get vaccinated, even if you don’t?

        Reply
        • Dan Tyree

          Joey boy it’s established that many vaccinated people have died with the chink virus. My sister’s friend for one. And many of the side affects have been awful. So no thanks. I’ll sit this one out. It’s really no ones business. I’m sick and tired of people trying to bully and shame people. If I start showing symptoms I’ll seek help quickly. But I wouldn’t panic. I’m not dying unless it’s my time to go. I also practice good hygiene and wear a mask away from home. And less people are dying from the chink virus than reported.

          Reply
  8. frank stetson

    You guys make me laugh, but in a sad, respectful way. 2,000 dead most days now from covid in America. That’s about 40 per state, per day. Our over 700,000 dead in total is now much more skewed to Red States where people have skipped the vaccine and are doing other things instead, or nothing and away from Blue states that generally have a much higher percentage of people vaccinated. Or maybe God just hates Red States, a distinct possibility,

    You can look at the charts, try FL or TX for example, and compare against say NY, NJ, or CA. You can see the effect of the vaccines, or lack thereof right in front of your eyes even with DeSantis cheating on the numbers by not reporting deaths correctly or even at the county level. His cheating is so obvious when you look at cases vs. death in FL, it jumps out as the only state that has basically ended death from covid while enhancing the number of cases to new record levels. Just look at the case count and death count lines charts comparing different states and it pretty much jumps out at you. Try NY/NJ/CA against your favorite Southern or Midwestern Red State.

    Ten different state hospital systems are in or near crisis care meaning if you don’t look like a survivor, you going to the back of the bus and getting comfort care until you die. In crisis managed states, if you go to the ER without covid, you still will be managed and a certain percentage will be denied anything but comfort care.

    Where are these awful places: I da no, I’ll ask a. (always love that one) They are Idaho, Alaska with active crisis managed care going on. Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Texas and Arkansas all have less than 10% ICU capacities, each is on the brink. Washington is getting close only because Idaho’s unvaccinated are spilling over into Washington. What do these states have in common? Vaccination rates under 50% and……very Red. According to Kaiser: “As of September 13, 2021, 52.8% of people in counties that voted for Biden were fully vaccinated compared to 39.9% of Trump counties, a 12.9 percentage point difference. While the rate of vaccination coverage has slowed in both county groups, the gap has widened over time.” That’s so cool. You are doing bad, the fix is in front of your faces, and you’re still choosing to get worse. Brilliant!!

    What’s really cook is that Blacks and Hispanics have closed the vaccine gap and now are on par with the White demographic, so congratulations for getting the news, changing your minds, and getting the jab. So, now it’s mostly the White, Red, constituency that is the recipient of all this disease and death.

    Even the newest antiviral from Merck is only 50% effective so, really, what do you expect your home-spun remedies like vitamins, horse dewormer, and UV lights to do? Do you really thing ANYONE has tested vitamins against covid? Come on, get real, there’s not test, you are being fed dung, and you like it.

    You can avoid the media, the medical community, the government’s recommendation in lieu of advice from your own trusted experts like your doctors or your sister or your FOX friendly blogosphere. But if the answer is to skip the vaccine, you are idiots, based on the facts. And the fact that you avoid the facts in the place of your friend’s advice does not make you smarter.

    Most of FOX has the vaccine, Trump has it, as do most high level conservatives. Many antivaxers have shown up dead, there last words being “I wish I took the vaccine.” Sure, you can mask, distance, wash hands and hide like Dan, or you can take the vaccine and know your chance of hospitalization and death is in the noise.

    You probably think Delta comes from India.

    It’s basically over now, it will continue to rampage the unvaccinated for some time, the numbers will remain at a high rate that we deem acceptable since it’s not affecting us. It’s those other places that the mass media does not care about anymore, why should they, you hate them. So, we won’t really hear to much going forward unless you create another variant and we start over.

    Is Trump’s Base shrinking? Like Lemmings.

    Reply
    • Harold blankenship

      That’s ok. The upcoming civil war will thin the ranks of the globalist commies. The democrats will push hard and then the shit will hit the fan.

      Reply
  9. Frankstet

    Civil war?

    Across the river from Washington, there are 400,000 crosses in Arlington Memorial Cemetery.

    Back across the river, on the mall, next to the Monument are 700,000 small white flags, some with personal messages, marking the dead from COVID 2020. And they grow now at about 2,000 flags a day.

    How big is your town, your high school, your frame of reference for 2,000 souls. Every day.

    This man caused some of this, a lot if you compare to other world leader’s results. His base should evaporate. Before you respond, take a look at those flags and tell me you’re not shrinking, stupefied at the enormity of it all. I think we all are smaller now as the man responsible for national defense failed to do so.

    Reply

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