Trump is Democrats’ only hope in 2024

Kenneth Ferriera/Lincoln Journal Star via AP
Former President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally for Nebraska Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster on May 1, 2022, in Greenwood, Neb.

If Republicans choose Donald Trump as their presidential nominee in 2024, Democrats will win. If they nominate almost any other prominent conservative, Democrats will lose — and they will lose big. A 2024 White House bid by Trump would ensure the focus of the election is on re-litigating 2020 and the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach, rather than on the issues important to voters right now. Democrats realize this may be their only path to victory, after years of unified control in Washington has left many American families worse off than they were before.  

The state of play is disastrous for President Biden and the Democrats ahead of 2024. Many Americans are struggling to fill their cars with gas and their refrigerators with groceries thanks to soaring inflation; the economy is shrinking, even as COVID restrictions have been lifted; illegal immigration is out of control and when Title 42 is lifted, the Department of Homeland Security expects 18,000 migrants to enter the U.S. per day; American cities are being overtaken by homelessness, drugs and violent crime; young children are being indoctrinated in radical ideologies in many public schools, often without the consent of parents; and the U.S. is losing influence around the globe amid several foreign policy crises. 

Trump is the Democrats’ Hail Mary. In addition to reviving CNN’s ratings, Trump’s mere entrance into the race would shift focus away from Biden’s abysmal track record. Instead of covering inflation or the open border, media coverage would be blanketed with daily comments by Trump about how the 2020 election was rigged, defensive statements about the Jan. 6 riots, and attacks on fellow Republicans. If you think that Trump will stop with Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), wait until he realizes that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis or South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem may threaten his chances for a second term. 

We’ve been down this road, and it only gets worse a second time.

This is exactly what Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media want. Outlets that experienced a boom in ratings and subscriber numbers during the Trump era would be excited to once again run constant doomsday headlines about American democracy being imperiled. Two years of election coverage would be Democrats’ best impression of Chicken Little. Quick to hurt his own cause, Trump would fall right into the traps with frequent incendiary comments, allowing the media to gloss over the problems plaguing Americans’ everyday lives.     

The Democrats should pray that Trump runs again. Even the New York Times recognizes that Democrats are underwater in polling with key demographics. Republicans now lead among Latinos in midterm polling by double digits. The GOP has a 20-point advantage among parents of children in school. Voters gravitate towards Republicans when the party talks about solutions. Securing the border, ending all COVID mandates, fixing inflation, and eliminating radical leftism from schools are all winners at the polls. Gov. Glenn Youngkin showed this with his win in Virginia. Americans struggling to pay for gas and heating oil, including some of those who voted for Biden in 2020, are considering voting for Republicans right now. 

But the second Trump decides to enter the race, debates over substantive issues would be replaced with squabbles over the integrity of the previous election, Jan. 6, and the former president’s personality. Trump’s outsized persona and bombastic statements would dominate coverage and discussion — and with that, key demographic groups the GOP needs for victory would disappear. Even worse, some voters may be driven to vote simply to avoid another Trump presidency, rather than to support Democrats. Without a decent percentage of Latinos, suburban moms and young people, the GOP’s 2024 chances become dim.

The Republican Party has its next wave of leadership ready to go. Flush with enthusiasm and accomplishments, a candidate such as DeSantis could secure the White House for eight years, based on smart conservative policy combined with the fighting spirit that Republican voters crave. DeSantis is racking up victories in Florida, from an upcoming “constitutional carry” bill to protecting schoolchildren from inappropriate gender curricula to taking on Disney and winning. Trump knows how to fight the left’s culture war, but DeSantis knows how to win it. The GOP nominee doesn’t have to be “Big Ron,” but it certainly should not be Trump. The Republican Party has candidates who can get the job done, if it chooses to nominate one of them.      

Aging sports stars know there is a moment to reflect and decide when to hang up your cleats for the best interest of the team. The best political leaders show the foresight and grace to know when to pass the mantle. Trump has an opportunity to build generations of Republican dominance and a much larger legacy than he has today.       

Donald Trump can be a central figure for the Republican Party and the nation. He could have the role of an elder statesman — if his ego can get out of the way.

Kristin Tate is a visiting fellow at the Independent Women’s Voice and a libertarian writer. Her latest book is “How Do I Tax Thee? A Field Guide to the Great American Rip-Off.” Follow her on Twitter @KristinBTate.

Tags 2022 midterms 2024 presidential election Biden Donald Trump presidential campaign Glenn Youngkin Kristi Noem Republican Party Ron DeSantis

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