Republicans still have the 'etch-a-sketch' problem Mitt Romney mentioned in 2012 - they have to campaign wayyyyy out to the right in order to win the primaries, and then shake the etch-a-sketch and try to rebrand as moderates in order to have a shot at winning the general. Case in point, Blake Masters scrubbing his website of all the Stop-The-Steal and pro-life absolutism as soon as he won the primary. Obviously, it was too little too late in his case.

Democrats don't really have the same problem because their base (especially the black vote) is overall pretty moderate. So a politician like Biden can campaign as a moderate in the primaries, *win on a moderate platform*, and then carry over a consistent platform into the general. The problem Democrats have is they tend to shake the proverbial etch-a-sketch once they're in office. All those promises of being a unifying moderate fly out the window, and instead they govern wayyyyyyy out to the left to appease woke Twitter and their own staffers (who are mostly recent grads from woke universities). As Andrew Sullivan put it, "Many of us voted for Biden as a competent moderate. Turns out he's more like an incompetent extremist"

For the 2024 primaries, Trump has a huge advantage over DeSantis or any other contenders. The best pitch DeSantis can make is basically "I actually have a shot at winning the general". The only group that can decide whether winning a big tent matters more than hardcore base appeal is ultimately Republican voters themselves.

Democrats, meanwhile, can (for now) continue sitting pretty with their "campaign as moderates, govern as radicals" playbook.

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If DeSantis (or anyone else) beats him out for the nomination, is there any reason to doubt that Trump would go third party out of spite? Wouldn't that be perfectly in character?

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In only 8 months, maybe less, the Republican party horse race to the Iowa caucus begins in earnest . The primary season lasts 5 months until the nominating conventions in July 2024.

Whichever Republican pretender is declared winner in the primaries has a Trump problem at the convention. The RNC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Trump Inc.. So expect a battle royal at the convention between Trump and any “ Pretender to the Throne”. Regardless of who wins the primaries Trump will control the Convention from the back rooms.

The Democrats had the same problem in 1968. The battle between Humphrey and the five other viable candidates to his left surely contributed to the Nixon/Agnew landslide as did the “Police riots” in Grant Park, engineered by Mayor Daley.

If Trump should lose to anyone at the convention, he will never deliver the expected “I will support the winner” speech. That refusal will be his declaration of a Republican internecine war between Republican factions that will dominate the election. Great profits for the media for Americans do love a horse race. As long as Trump still has the loyalty of 30% of the electorate who are MAGA radicals he will guarantee no other candidate is likely to win in the general election.

And that is the problem the Republican Party must solve if they expect to be able to win future national elections. How many elections must they lose, how many swing states must turn blue, how many years out of power, before the Party finds a way to expell Trumpism from the party?

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The looming economic chaos resulting from the Democrat war on fossil fuels is going to change everything.

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I’d prefer desantis...he’s smart and tactical...trump isn’t...no discipline. As many have said..loved what you did for us, but time to hand off....if a split gives us Scott...I’m good with that...better than Romney type

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