Trump Wins New Hampshire Primary, But It's Not The Victory He Thinks

@kerryeleveld
Trump Wins New Hampshire Primary, But It's Not The Victory He Thinks

Donald Trump onstage at victory party in Nashua, New Hampshire on January 23, 2024

Mike Segar/Reuters

Congratulations, Republicans, you got your guy. Donald Trump has won the Republican primary in New Hampshire. And his victory there is in large part due to the 70 percent of likely GOP primary voters who believe that Trump will “definitely” beat incumbent President Joe Biden, according to a CBS/YouGov poll from early this month.

Such certainty is the product of the right-wing echo chamber. Around this time last year, non-MAGA Republicans were expressing skepticism about Trump's chances of being reelected, along with a heavy dose of Trump fatigue. In fact, Republican voters at the time favored Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a head-to-head matchup against Trump. Mostly, Republican voters wanted to field a candidate who could win the general election and, as much as they still liked Trump, they thought he had too much baggage.

But that was before DeSantis announced his candidacy and voters actually got a good look at him. Despite his enormous war chest, DeSantis was nothing short of a tragic campaigner.

In the meantime, right-wing media painted a caricature of President Biden that suggested even the hapless Charlie Brown could clean his clock. And if that were true, why go for an exceedingly whiny Trump-lite candidate when you can have the real thing? Now, one year later, Republican voters, donning the blinders provided to them by the right-wing disinformation machine, believe Trump's a shoo-in against Biden in the general election.

Looking at high-quality national head-to-head polls conducted in January, we see that Trump holds a consistent lead over Biden. However, on closer inspection, Trump's lead is very narrow. While he may lead most polls, he leads by little more than 1 or 2 percentage points in many cases. And at this point, such polls represent little more than a partisan ink-blot test since many Americans are only now waking up to the fact that this year’s election will surely be a Biden-Trump rematch.

In truth, Trump has likely benefited from not being a part of many people’s daily lives. Outside of the white noise of Trump’s legal battles, voters have largely not tuned in enough yet to be privy his rally rants, his increasing cognitive challenges, and his social media meltdowns.

But that grace period is now ending. Team Biden is already feasting on Trump's barrage of embarrassing—not to mention deeply worrisome—statements. On Tuesday, Biden's rapid-response team circulated a nonsensical Trump quote in which he told rally attendees Monday, “We are an institute in a powerful death penalty.”

Subtweeting the quote, Team Biden quipped, "Yeah, we don't know what he's saying either."

On Monday, the account circulated video of Trump in 2020 promising a "stock market collapse" if Biden became president, splicing the footage together with Fox News’ coverage of the stock market's record-high close earlier this week.

While none of this will pierce the MAGA bubble, it does stand a chance of reaching both reality-based Republicans (who have typically supported former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley in the primaries) and independents who will be forced to cast a ballot for what they consider to be the lesser of two evils.

The November election will not be a popularity contest; rather, it will be a race defined by which candidate a majority of voters most fear being in charge of the country. And reality-based Americans will now be force-fed a daily diet of utterances from a man who is arguably the most dangerous presidential candidate the country has seen since the country's founding.

Democrats would much rather not roll the dice on democracy once again, but here we are. Republican voters have landed us here, largely because they are delusional enough to believe Trump’s a slam dunk in the general election.

They got their guy. Now they’re stuck with him as the Biden campaign gets to work.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

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