This may be the worst news Trump has gotten yet, if he has any time for his campaign, what with all the legal flies swarming around his head. But since politics is my life, I’m on it like flies on shit.
Politico Magazine has just start a new periodical feature that I love. The writer has selected a pool of GOP County Chairs from 35 different states, and is polling them on what is known as the Invisible Primary, the one that takes place from the time the first candidates declare up until the actual primary voting starts.
County chairs are a good choice. They’re more politically active than regular voters. Also, due to their position they have some prominence in the community on behalf of the party. But they are also far enough removed from heavy power that they stay in close touch with their constituents, The Grassroots.
They just conducted their first survey, and it’s informative, and somewhat surprising. Let’s look at some of the results;
- To start, he asked the respondents if they were committed to a particular candidate in the 2024 primaries. Just about half replied that they were uncommitted. But here’s the first signal flare. Among the rest 19% were committed to DeSantis, while 17% were locked into Trump. Trump can’t even garner 25% of 50%, and the only other declared candidate isn’t in the top two?
- Then it gets worse for Trump. The next question was designed to get some sense of soft support for candidates. The question was simple, What candidates are they considering supporting at this point? They could name as many as they liked. Most people chose more than one, and here’s the results. DeSantis 73%, Trump 43%, Haley 36%, Scott 28%, Pompeo 25%, Pence 21%, and Cruz 17%. Trump generates just about 1/2 the interest of DeSantis, and is only 7 points ahead of of Haley?
- The 3rd question was equally simple, and the gut punch. Which candidate did the county chairs most want not to run. The top vote getter was former NJ Governor Chris Christie at 55%. Which is funny because he’s not even hinting at running. But apparently they want to let him know to keep it that way. Next up was former VP Mike Pence, at 43%, and then His Lowness himself, at a stunning 39%. As the author pointed out, this means that 4 out of 10 GOP County Chairs don’t want Trump in the ballot
Here’s why this is so important. These aren’t registered voters, or likely voters, these are GOP County Chairs. They are the direct conduit between the county voters and the state party management. If a county chair has an opinion, it is likely based at least partially from feedback he has gotten from his constituents. And apparently a good portion of them think that Trump’s bloom has fallen off the rose bush. Including core rural GOP counties.
DeSantis is in surprisingly strong position, but there are two things to keep in mind. First, DeSantis is still a largely unknown quantity with only a smattering of news cycle clips to define him. I’ll del with him in my next article. But the 2nd thing to remember is that this is Trump we’re talking about. And by their proximity to the traditional GOP structure, there may not be a representative number of MAGAT’s in the group. But Trump is going to get his 28-33% base turnout, and if the field is fractured, it should still be enough.
Uh oh! Has someone informed El Cheeseburger? You know, a malignant narcissist doesn’t take this kind of news well. He may start mobilizing his hidden soliders. I wonder what the math translates to, if you take his 28%-33% base, change it into a whole number, then figure the number of homegrown, violent, magat cult members into another whole number, what would it be? We know it wouldn’t be zero.
While this may sound like good news, Murf, we’ve got to remember that these “county chairs” may be “more in touch with the grassroots” but, as we all saw back in 2016 (and, even more recently in 2022), Trump’s supporters (whether backing Trump or one of his surrogates) aren’t always the most vocal people (at least, outside a Trump rally) but they tend to be the most likely to show up at the polls come primary day.
The “county chairs” are still GOP politicians when all is said and done and they’re going to be more likely to still provide the “party leaders” the information they want to hear rather than what’s actually being said. Trump’s surrogates may have gotten skewered in last year’s general elections but they still won their primaries and more than a few GOP incumbents decided to call it quits rather than run for re-election after failing to display the necessary level of loyalty to Trump (these weren’t people who’d spent decades in the House and/or Senate and felt they’d achieved all their goals–whatever they might’ve been–but people whose families had been threatened or harassed by Trump loyalists).
I want Trump gone and out of the picture as soon as possible as much as anyone else here but I’m not willing to accept at face value any poll that doesn’t actually include “regular” voters. It was “regular” voters that put Trump in the White House in the first place* and the man got even more “regular” voters in 2020 than he did in 2016 (even accounting for the overall 22 million or so additional total votes cast and the “return” of 2016’s third party voters to the Big Two).
*Okay–electoral college voters but those votes were based on the “regular” folks who got out and voted. You know what I mean.