Is the Republican race for presidential nominee over before any votes are cast? Some people sure would like it to be.
“It’s over!” Trump supporters declare with the assured enthusiasm of a Mets fan at spring training.
This is our year! No unforeseen injuries will cripple our chances! We’re going all the way!
A closer look at the numbers shows a ballgame very much in progress.
There’s no doubt Trump is a unique political phenomenon.
He makes people feel something. They vote with their heart for Trump. He’s magnetic.
But just as magnets attract, they repel.
Yes, Trump is polling far ahead of his competition.
But he also has been president already, has 100% name recognition and is only managing about half his party’s support.
The comparison shouldn’t be to candidates in past elections but to incumbents. And by that metric he’s getting smoked.
If Joe Biden had only 50% of the Democratic Party’s support, he’d be shoved off the stage before Democrats could even figure out how to avoid getting stuck with Kamala Harris.
And most of the polls you see in the news are national polls, and we do not have national elections.
The RealClearPolitics polling average has Trump at 43% in Iowa and 44% in New Hampshire, both states that vote in January.
If a candidate not named Donald Trump manages to win both Iowa and New Hampshire, it will be an entirely new ballgame by the time South Carolina votes the following month. Trump is at 45% there.
It’s also still early. For the normies, that is the sane people whose lives don’t revolve around politics, right around now is when they look up and start thinking about a primary election still months away.
This is not to say Trump is not well in the lead. He is.
But the idea he can just skip real campaigning is laughable.
Hillary Clinton also had a giant lead in 2016 and decided to take it easy and skip places like Wisconsin. Ask her how that turned out.
Republican voters who want a non-Trump nominee should consolidate around one candidate sooner rather than later.
And those voters should wrap their heads around the very possible reality the Republican presidential candidate will indeed be Trump.
But Trump voters, especially those who in their minds have completely canceled the primary, should brace for the possibility it won’t be him and prepare to accept that without the accusations of cheating that have become so the norm.
More important, no matter who comes out of the contest victorious, Republicans need to keep their eye on the prize: making sure Joe Biden doesn’t stay president.
Already some are ensuring we stay divided. Leo Terrell, a talking head who became a Republican five minutes ago, has been saying Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley “betrayed” Trump and their voters won’t be welcomed back into the party.
This is too-online idiocy that leads directly to a Biden win.
Let me say it louder for the people in the cheap seats: Twitter is not real life. Truth Social is not real life.
Real life is family dinners, FaceTime calls with your best friend, date nights with your spouse, Little League games too early on Saturday mornings and actually voting for your favored candidate.
Fighting on social media is irrelevant to an election.
All the noise, the arguments, the nastiness are meaningless until the moment people actually vote.
The election is nowhere near over, and it’s important to not let politics divide you from the people in your real life.
I’ve spent the last six months touring for “Stolen Youth,” the book I co-authored, and giving speeches about the ideological brainwashing happening to kids around the country.
I spoke to hundreds of people, many of whom had experienced a falling out within their family.
Maybe their daughter went to a woke college and decided to disavow her ideologically impure parents.
Maybe their sister fell for COVID hysteria and cut off the branch of the family that had dropped masking earlier than she did.
The stories were heartwrenching. People had let politics harm their family.
I’m seeing it happen now among Republican-voting families.
It’s one thing to find yourself on opposite political sides, another to let intra-party strife lead to damaging your important relationships.
As we head into this important and necessary primary season, support your candidates, make your arguments, and remember to show respect for those on your side making different choices.
Elections are temporary battles. Fight them with honor, and then go home to your real life.