Former President Donald Trump’s announcement for the White House in 2024 was predictable, even if the timing was suspect. He delivered his message calmly and clearly, and he stayed to the point. The problem is that the message came from a man branded by his opponents as having the most problematic personal traits of any president in recent history.
The challenge for Trump is to overcome his own negative brand. Can it be done?
According to FiveThirtyEight, Trump’s unfavorability exceeded his favorability by 14.4 points in October 2022. The Club for Growth released a polling memo after the midterm elections showing Trump trailing by double digits behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in key early presidential states of Iowa and New Hampshire. according to Politico.
However, Morning Consult’s tracking poll may suggest there is some daylight for Trump to turn his numbers around.
According to the poll that tracks Trump’s popularity among Republican primary voters, Trump’s support dropped to 40 percent after the events following the January 2021 election. Trump rose to 57 percent in August 2022 — likely due to the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, and then fell to 48 percent after the midterms, which saw several of his high-profile backed candidates lose.
Tracking polls also show DeSantis increasing its support from 14% to 26% in 2022.
The Morning Consult poll report suggests that the Trump and DeSantis candidatures are symbiotic rather than parasitic, each appealing to different sections of the base.
“The pro-Trump potential primary voter is slightly more likely to be a woman, person of color, or non-college educated, while the average DeSantis supporter is more likely to be from the suburbs, live in a higher-income household, and be of retirement age,” it said .
And the 26% who don’t support any candidate seems up for grabs. “This group of voters — a third of whom no longer want Trump to play a role in the party — share a similar gender and educational structure to the DeSantis base, while their age, household income, community and racial identity are more closely related are typical Trump supporters, suggesting they may have split allegiances, which could work to Trump’s advantage.”
Trump needs five things to happen to be successful and win the nomination.
• He cannot be the person his enemies think he is from this point forward. He has to focus on problems, formulate problems and find solutions. He cannot attack the media, mock his opponents, or excuse his past transgressions. If he slips here, he will fail.
• Trust that more “pain” is to come in the future due to President Joe Biden’s policies. This will focus his campaign primarily on business, where he can garner the support of 65% of primary voters who currently do not support his candidacy.
• Use political jiu-jitsu against Democrats to manipulate their power against them. That will be difficult for Trump because it goes against the grain, because he considers himself a good counterattack, which during his tenure usually meant insulting his opponents. Trump must find ways to deflect personal attacks and use them to highlight his failed policies.
• Welcome the new generation of Republicans to the House of Representatives as disciples of Trump’s America First agenda. Here he should take any thoughtful initiative, especially those aimed at changing the course of the government. This will underpin his claim as the “father of a movement”.
• Emphasize that it will take four more years for the Republican Party to become a party that can compete in Democratically controlled metropolitan areas and win on both coasts by continuing to advocate for minorities and the working class on crime and crime issues the party can win training. Trump will have to work hard in 2023 to positively influence local elections as part of his national campaign strategy.
Dennis M. Powell, Founder and President of Massey Powell, is an Issues and Crisis Management consultant and the author of the forthcoming book, Leading from the Top: Presidential Lessons in Issues Management. This column was provided by InsideSources.