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  • Writer's pictureArmstrong Williams

How does Trump lose thee? Let us count the ways.

March 8, 2024 |

Former President Donald Trump is now the de facto Republican nominee for the presidency in 2024, after Nikki Haley threw in the towel Wednesday.

Trump’s MAGA stalwarts are convinced that he is a lion killer who will demolish the mummy-like Joe Biden in November. But is this belief a case of the wish fathering the thought? Do recent elections show Trump is more a headwind than a tailwind for Republican candidates? Among other things, reflect on the losing candidates Trump endorsed in the 2022 elections.

U.S. Senate Trump-endorsed candidates:

  • Mehmet Oz — defeated in Pennsylvania by John Fetterman.

  • Don Bolduc — defeated in New Hampshire by Maggie Hassan.

  • Leora Levy — defeated in Connecticut by Richard Blumenthal.

  • Gerald Malloy — defeated in Vermont by Peter Welch.

U.S. House of Representatives Trump-endorsed candidates:

  • Bo Hines — defeated in North Carolina’s District 13 by Wiley Nickel.

  • Steve Chabot — defeated in Ohio’s District 1 by Greg Landsman.

  • Madison Gesiotto Gilbert — defeated in Ohio’s District 13 by Emilia Sykes.

  • John Gibbs — defeated in Michigan District 3 by Hillary Scholten.

  • Yesli Vega — defeated in Virginia’s District 7 by Abigail Spanberger.

  • Karoline Leavitt — defeated in New Hampshire’s District 1 by Chris Pappas.

  • J.R. Majewski — defeated in Ohio’s District 9 by Marcy Kaptur.

  • Sandy Smith — defeated in North Carolina’s District 1 by Don Davis.

  • Robert Burns — defeated in New Hampshire’s District 2 by Ann McLane Kuster.

  • Sarah Palin — defeated in Alaska’s At-Large District 2 by Mary Petlota.

  • Jim Bognet — defeated in Pennsylvania’s District 8 by Matt Cartwright.

Gubernatorial Trump-endorsed candidates:

  • Kari Lake — lost to Katie Hobbs in Arizona.

  • Tudor Dixon — lost to Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan.

  • Doug Mastriano — lost to Josh Shapiro in Pennsylvania.

  • Lee Zeldin — lost to Kathy Hochul in New York.

  • Dan Cox — lost to Wes Moore in Maryland.

  • Geoff Diehl — lost to Maura Healey in Massachusetts.

  • Tim Michels — lost to Tony Evers in Wisconsin.

  • Darren Bailey — lost to J.B. Pritzker in Illinois.

  • Scott Jensen — lost in Minnesota to Tim Walz.

  • Mark Ronchetti — lost in New Mexico to Michelle Lujan Grisham.

  • Derek Schmidt — lost in Kansas to Laura Kelly.

State executive Trump-endorsed candidates:

  • Kim Crockett — defeated in the Minnesota secretary of state election by Steve Simon.

  • Kristina Karamo — defeated in the Michigan secretary of state election by Jocelyn Benson.

Would the Republican party have fared better in the 2022 elections if Donald Trump had been benched?

After the elections, Congressman Jim Jordan was shellacked in his quest to succeed Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker despite Trump’s high-octave support.

Even in the 2020 election cycle, Republicans recaptured control of the House, while Mr. Trump was defeated by anemic Joe Biden.

Moreover, Trump confronts 91 felony charges in four jurisdictions with some trials set to conclude before November balloting. The probability of conviction on at least some counts is high. Many of the prosecution’s witnesses were Trump appointees or loyalists. Trump has already lost a civil fraud case with hundreds of millions of dollars in crippling penalties and interest before New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron, and twin sexual assault-defamation cases initiated by Jean Caroll including damages approaching $90 million.

Will Americans be willing to vote for a candidate convicted of felonies and possibly serving jail time?  Maybe. Socialist candidate Eugene Debs attracted nearly 1 million votes in 1920 while serving prison time for violating the Espionage Act of 1917. And Trump indeed might defeat Biden in November in an election — like choosing between a trip on the Titanic or a flight on the Hindenburg.

Trump’s electrifying attraction is his scorn for the mainstream media and the haughty eastern establishment.  But it is one thing to burn a barn down. It is quite another to build a barn for the ages.  Don’t Trump’s gifts suit the former but not the latter?  How many of Trump’s initiatives have survived the Biden presidency?  You can count them on your hand with fingers left over.

Brimming with charisma and brio, Trump came from the political wilderness in 2016 to win the presidency, seeming to many the nation’s deliverance from proliferating woes.  But is his comet-like rise destined to crash when his hyperbolic bombasts and panaceas collide with reality?  Haven’t we seen the likes of Trump before?  Father Charles CoughlinHuey LongWendell WillkieJoseph McCarthyGeorge Corley Wallace? Might Trump prove to be a flash in the pan who disappears like the Cheshire cat without even a smile in Alice in Wonderland?

Let us hope, as a Persian proverb instructs, “This too shall pass.”


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