According to one Fox News host, “the media-political complex” has determined that former President Donald Trump “has never been weaker” following disappointing outcomes in the midterm elections for his hand-picked candidates and stands no chance of surviving a primary challenge in his bid to retake the White House — but the press should at least “consider” that they, once again, might be getting the whole thing “wrong.”
“The conventional wisdom about Donald Trump may once again be wrong,” states “MediaBuzz” host Howard Kurtz in an op-ed for Fox News.
In addition to his losing candidates, the “complex,” Kurtz says, also points to the looming threat of a possible indictment for “some kind of crime” and the belief that “the public is so utterly exhausted by Trump and his grievances and his stolen-election” as reasons Trump will never succeed in his bid to “win the White House again.”
Those points “might be true,” Kurtz concedes, “But shouldn’t the press consider the possibility that it’s not?”
If anything, he writes, the press is setting the former President up to be a MAGA “martyr.”
“The notion that Trump will be criminally charged is the hardest to predict, since such deliberations remain secret,” he writes. “But after Russiagate, the first impeachment, the second impeachment, the Trump Org probe and so on, those who crave seeing him in an orange jumpsuit have repeatedly been disappointed.”
“And if Trump is hit with charges,” he adds, “there is little question that MAGA nation would rally behind him and he’d be able to cast himself as a martyr.”
And when it comes to primaries, Kurtz notes, the polls are telling a different tale.
“Emerson College Polling shows that the former president remains the front-runner,” he explains. “He leads with 55 percent, trailed by Ron DeSantis with 29 percent, Mike Pence with 6 percent and Nikki Haley with 3 percent. Other recent polls have found similar results.”
“Now it’s possible, of course, that DeSantis will win by convincing enough Republicans that he offers Trump’s policies without the personal baggage,” Kurtz continues. “Or he may turn out to be a stiff and unlikable candidate. Another contender, like Haley or Mike Pompeo, could break out.”
Citing a report from Politico titled “Frozen: Trump’s primary challengers balk at jumping into the unknown,” the Fox host notes that “advisers for three potential candidates” are looking to jump into the run for the White House together, because “Trump on the attack ‘can be lethal.’”
Politico quoted one Republican Party insider who said that launching a challenge to Trump as a group “provides them protection from Trump.”
“I don’t see how that’s true, given that Trump used his pugilistic style to beat 16 rivals to win the nomination in 2016,” Kurtz argues. “And multiple rivals can easily divide the anti-Trump vote.”
Perhaps, but unlike during his previous runs, many supporters still want to see Trump answer for his continued bragging about the “Warp Speed” COVID-19 vaccines.
In a Twitter poll conducted by Blaze Media host Steve Deace, an overwhelming majority of the more than 11,000 respondents have said they would not support Trump as the Republican nominee if he “refuses to admit the truth about the poisonous jabs and the failure of Operation Warp Speed.”
With just four hours left in the poll at the time of this writing, a whopping 75.9% of those who voted have indicated they won’t back Trump unless he acknowledges “the truth” about the vax, and it remains to be seen if Trump is capable of admitting he was ever wrong about anything.
But assuming he does become the nominee, Kurtz asks, “Is it beyond comprehension that he could beat an 82-year-old president who might be showing increasingly visible signs of slowing down?”
That takes us to another part of the respected Emerson poll – which should be discounted because it’s so far in advance of actual voting, but provides an interesting marker.
The poll found Trump beating Biden, 44 to 41 percent, the 3-point gap being within the margin of error, so it’s a statistical tie.
This was lauded as a turnaround because in November’s Emerson poll, Biden was leading Trump by 3 points – also a statistical tie, but this is a 7-point swing in Trump’s favor. For what it’s worth, the new survey says Biden leads DeSantis by less than a percentage point, 40-39.
Lest you get confused, it’s not as though Kurtz is on the Trump Train.
In fact, he called the former President “a self-absorbed loser” for his continued claims that 2020 was stolen from him.
He also pointed to his dinner with Kanye West and Nick Fuentes, his “attack-dog politics” that has “alienated suburban and female voters,” and how he “inspired the violence of Jan. 6 and waited hours before lifting a finger to stop it,” as potential subjects for “a series of columns on why Trump can never make it back to the White House.”
Kurtz states “the country doesn’t want another four years of chaos” and claims the “Trump brand is now toxic” for “too many people.”
“But I also remember sitting on the set of my show the Sunday before the 2016 election, when virtually the entire world saw Crooked Hillary Clinton as a lock, cautioning that there was still some chance that Trump could win,” he reminds readers.
“So is there no way in hell that a former President of the United States could win back his old job, even if that hasn’t been done since Grover Cleveland?” he asks. “I think the odds are diminished if Biden somehow doesn’t make it and Trump runs against a much younger candidate, though the Democrats don’t exactly have a deep bench.”
“But,” he concluded ominously, “is the media-political complex just a tad overconfident in its deeply held belief that Trump cannot eke out another Electoral College win?”
“I’m not saying it will happen,” he stated dramatically. “I’m not saying it should happen. But is it really impossible?”
Online, at least one Twitter user believes Trump has “zero chance” of retaking the White House.
“There are too many Republican never Trumpers after the way he behaved after losing the election,” the user countered. “And he’ll get exactly ZERO independents. So mathematically he has no chance.”
Zero chance. There are too many Republican never Trumpers after the way he behaved after losing the election. And he’ll get exactly ZERO independents. So mathematically he has no chance.
— Michael still (@Michael_1965_) January 26, 2023
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Author: Melissa Fine
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