Trump and the Republican Division

Tuesday evening held the attention of American political enthusiasts for several reasons.

As we are already considering Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress, this evening of primaries made it possible to highlight the candidates who will scrap next November.

Among the indicators worth mentioning was an attempt to measure the popularity of former President Trump. The one who could well return in 2024 has not hesitated to support many candidates and several results have been interpreted as a measure of his influence.

Among the analyzes and statistics made since Tuesday evening, I focused particularly on the observations by former Republican political consultant Keith Naughton on the site The Hill. His interpretation of the results goes beyond just the win-loss column.

Naughton notes that both in the 2016 campaign and in yesterday’s results, there is a marked trend in the performance of Donald Trump or candidates seeking his imprimatur. Very often, we win by exploiting the division of the vote.

An unfortunate trend

For example, the author recalls that during the Republican primaries that preceded the 2016 presidential election, candidate Trump faced an impressive number of rivals. Several of them, especially Jeb Bush and John Kasich, hung on too long, allowing the reality star to slip into the lead.

When we combine the support of Kasich and Bush in South Carolina, they correspond to the winning margin of the one who would become the 45e President. While Bush learned his lesson and stepped down, Kasich refused to back down, contributing to Trump’s triumphs in nine states.

What we observed in 2016 seems to be repeated in 2022. For Donald Trump, yesterday’s results are mixed. A few defeats, but a majority of victories, the most important occurring in Pennsylvania, a determining state during the presidential elections.

When we dissect the victories, the phenomenon of 2016 stands out. Naughton sees too many “John Kasich” dividing the vote. These cannonballs constitute a major obstacle for those who would have a chance of defeating the pro-Trump in a head-to-head confrontation.

Fragile foundations

With the exception of the results in Pennsylvania, candidates with the support of the former president are struggling to obtain more than a third of the votes. Without suggesting that the “Trump effect” has faded or that the Republicans could well have unpleasant surprises in November, we can legitimately say that there are cracks in the wall.

Beyond yesterday’s evening and next November’s election, what Naughton points out also reveals that the Trump clan is not unshakeable. If these naysayers are able to put their egos aside to side with the best candidate, the godfather of Mar-a-Lago could falter.

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