Jim Hartman: Trump ‘presumptive nominee’ – not so fast

Jim Hartman

Jim Hartman

  • Discuss Comment, Blog about
  • Print Friendly and PDF

After winning 51% of a very meager caucus vote in Iowa and 54% of the record-setting primary turnout in New Hampshire, Donald Trump was propelled toward his very likely 2024 GOP presidential renomination.

Trump was a clear winner in Iowa and New Hampshire among hardcore Republicans. He dominates among the GOP base.

But runner-up Nikki Haley did better than polling forecast in New Hampshire.

Haley’s upbeat and defiant tone in her election-night speech, pointing to her 2% showing a year ago rising to 43% of the vote in New Hampshire, got under Trump’s skin. It resulted in his going on a 19-minute tirade in response.

His tantrum castigated Haley as an “imposter” who’d had “a very bad night” and suggested New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu has “got to be on something” for supporting her.

Trump said: “I don’t get too angry, I get even.” He said Haley could be “investigated” without specifying for what.

Trump noted “her fancy dress that probably isn’t so fancy.”

He posted a rant that “Anybody that makes a ‘Contribution’ to Birdbrain, from this moment forth, will be permanently barred from the MAGA camp.”

Trump looked like an irate 77-year-old loser rather than a confident, gracious winner.

Haley was immediately rewarded by small donor contributions of $2.6 million in 48 hours after Trump’s fulmination. And, 15 major donor events have been scheduled for her in early February, including in New York, California, Texas and Florida.

Against long odds, Haley has the financial backing to compete in the next primary on Feb. 24 in South Carolina, her home state. She vows to continue on to “Super Tuesday” in March.

A draft resolution – later withdrawn – proposed the Republican National Committee declare Donald Trump the presumptive nominee and start “working with the former president as if he had already” won the nomination.

That’s despite the fact only 435,000 voters in two states had voted in the race to secure 1,215 delegates for the nomination, with Trump leading Haley 32 to 17.

The idea this contest is already over is ridiculous.

While Trump had convincing wins, the results show Trump’s weaknesses among enough Republicans – as well as a substantial share of independents – to lose the general election.

In New Hampshire, 21% of Republican voters said they wouldn’t vote for Trump in November. Similarly, 15% of Iowa Republican caucus participants said they wouldn’t vote for him.

To win, Trump needs support from 90% or more of Republican voters. In 2020, Trump won 91% of GOP voters and still lost.

In New Hampshire, Trump won only 31% of unaffiliated voters, with 68% of independents saying they wouldn’t vote for him in November.

Trump faces 91 criminal charges in four criminal cases. If he’s convicted of a felony, 42% of New Hampshire voters and a third of Iowa’s caucus-goers say Trump would be unfit for the presidency.

A New York jury just awarded writer E. Jean Carroll $83.3 million in damages from Trump in her defamation case. An earlier jury awarded Carroll $5 million against Trump for sexual assault.

A verdict in Trump’s New York civil fraud trial is expected this week seeking $370 million in “illegal profits.”

With all of Trump’s uncertainties, Haley may stay in the race until the July Republican convention.

Next up is Nevada.

Haley is expected to “win” the legally-mandated but now meaningless presidential primary on Tuesday (Feb. 6). Trump is assured to “win” a needless Nevada GOP caucus Thursday (Feb. 8).

Turnout for the caucus is likely to be 40,000 or fewer participants – an anemic 6% of Nevada’s 640,000 registered GOP voters. That’s about half the 75,000 Republicans who caucused in 2016.

The pre-cooked caucus outcome will result in Trump winning all 26 Nevada national convention delegates.

The Nevada GOP completely botched the presidential nominating process.

E-mail Jim Hartman at lawdocman1@aol.com.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment