It’s hard to believe with so many contenders, but there are times when Donald Trump is his own worst enemy. He had a perfect opportunity to respond to the revelation that Twitter was colluding with Democrats to rig the 2020 election, taking orders from them to silence inconvenient speech like a waitress at a short order restaurant. Unfortunately, Trump released this statement:
"So, with the revelation of MASSIVE & WIDESPREAD FRAUD & DECEPTION in working closely with Big Tech Companies, the DNC, & the Democrat Party, do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION? A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution. Our great 'Founders' did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!"
I agree with that last line, but how could he not know that suggesting we terminate the rules in the Constitution was like handing his enemies a weapon to bash him with on a silver platter, which they also bashed him with. It played right into the “authoritarian insurrectionist” narrative they’ve been trying to gin up for years. Trump actually gave President Biden – the beneficiary of all that unconstitutional censorship of free speech – the high ground to defend the Constitution against him, and Biden’s been using the Constitution as Charmin since his first minute in office. I think in sports, they call this an “unforced error.”
This is the type of unpredictable and unnecessary media storm that has many Republicans, even Trump supporters, looking to Ron DeSantis as an alternative who might carry on Trump’s policies without the drama and baggage. That’s showing up in a new poll by WPA Intelligence, a firm used by top GOP politicians and organizations. Trump’s favorability rating among Republicans is now 70%, which sounds high but is down quite a bit from its peak.
Meanwhile, DeSantis’ net favorability rating is higher than Trump’s among several demographics, including Republicans (+66 to +44), Fox News viewers (+58 to +27) and even 2020 Trump voters (+69 to +54.) DeSantis also does better among all-important Independent voters, 66% of whom view Trump unfavorably. DeSantis has a net -3 favorability rating among Independents, which sounds bad until you hear that Biden is at -27 and Trump -39.
That article rightly warns that polls shouldn’t be taken too seriously, especially at this stage. But this should serve as a warning sign to Trump’s circle that Republican voters consider 2024 to be too important to risk on someone who shoots from the hip and hits his own foot. If Trump wants to know how badly some ill-chosen words can hurt you, I have two words for him to consider: “Kanye West.” Those are also two words that should never again appear on his dinner guest list.