Monday, February 26, 2024

The Morning Briefing: The 2024 Trump Train Isn't Slowing Down for Anything in Its Path


AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Never have so many done so much to derail one candidate during an election cycle as the Democrats, corrupt judges and prosecutors, and priority challenged Never Trump Republicans have done to keep Donald Trump from crossing the GOP nomination finish line in 2024. 

Last year at this time, there weren't many Republicans outside of the hardcore MAGA circle who were jumping with joy at the prospect of Trump being the Republican nominee for a third election. Fatigue had definitely set in, even among a lot of us who had very enthusiastically voted for him in 2020. We weren't even weary about the thought of a Trump/Biden rematch because, let's face it, none of us were drunk enough to believe that President LOLEightyonemillion would actually run again. 

I'm not really convinced that Biden is fully aware that he's running right now. 

As we are all now very aware, the Trump Train ignored everything that got in its way, picking up steam — or whatever is all the rage for powering metaphorical trains these days — and making short work of the nomination race. 

On Saturday, the Trump Train ran right through Nikki Haley's back yard, absolutely destroying any fantasies that the "principled" Trump-hating Republican crowd had about the former governor's electoral viability. 

Chris took one for the team, and spent some weekend time covering the South Carolina primary: 

The focus of the 2024 Republican primary moves to the Palmetto State this weekend with the South Carolina GOP primary. Unlike the Democrats who pushed their South Carolina primary as a quid pro quo to the state's black supporters, the Republicans were content to keep the original primary date on the calendar.

The RealClearPolitics polling average has Donald Trump with a 25.3-point edge over Nikki Haley. No recent poll has had the former president with a lead of less than 15 points. Trump is poised to trounce Haley on her home turf — in the state where she served as a successful and popular governor. 

Haley has vowed to stay in the race no matter what happens in South Carolina. The biggest topic of conversation is why she is still in the race. My gut tells me that it's a combination of stubbornness and a hope against hope that she will be the last (wo)man standing if Trump's legal troubles end up in a worst-case scenario. 

Trump would end up defeating Haley in her home state by more than 20 percentage points. That's not merely a convincing victory; that's an electoral bloodbath, especially given how much more money Haley spent in the primary than Trump.

Nikki Haley has been giving off leftist-in-waiting vibes all during this primary season, so I wouldn't be surprised if she's rooting for the Democrats to eventually perpwalk Trump. Then again, I think that she's reached the point where she believes the nonsense that the MSM has been writing about her to prop her up and is now drinking delusion for breakfast. 

As my RedState colleague Ben Kew writes, Haley is going to have to soldier on without any of that sweet Koch money: 

Americans for Prosperity (AFP), which is bankrolled by the multi-billion dollar Koch network, announced that it was pulling the plug on financial support for Haley on the grounds that it is no longer money being well spent. 

Most would make the argument that it was never money well spent. AFP Action was bankrolling an extreme longshot and telling themselves all sorts of things to justify it. It always was nothing more than a well-financed anti-Trump tantrum. 

I truly believe that the Democrats' relentless legal assaults on Trump have played a huge role in the short work he's made of his opponents in this primary. The pre-election tampering may not be moving the Never Trump crowd, but I've talked to a lot of people who were deep in the throes of Trump fatigue a year ago who are supportive of him now. All cite the Dems' lawfare chicanery as their motivation for changing their minds. 

There are more moving parts in this particular contest than there have been in a presidential election for a long time. His detractors can moan all they want, but Trump is hitting a lot of the right notes for the voters these days. 

That's excellent power for the train.