Trump’s 2024 presidential bid hitting a crater with Republican Party not wanting him

Former US President Donald Trump might have pre-empted his arch rival Ron DeSantis, the Florida Governor and his once VP Mike Pence, by announcing his presidential bid for 2024, but he has failed to muster the Republican Party’s support for his candidacy which seems to have cratered.

A USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll finds the former President has been beleaguered by the November midterm losses where most of his star candidates have lost and the court drama mounts day by day with the latest being a New York jury finding him guilty on 17 counts of criminal felony on the tax evasion case in lower Manhattan concerning the Trump Businesses.

New York Attorney General Letitia James has sued Trump for $250 million on charges of tax fraud and systematic evasion of taxes and obtaining loans fraudulently on inflated property values even as a criminal case was launched by her predecessor Cyrus Vance on the same issue.

Recently, the New York jury’s verdict has come as a big jolt to Trump and his supporters are beginning to distance themselves from him. His most trusted ally media baron Rupert Murdoch has deserted him in his networks from New York Post to Fox TV to Wall Street Journal, media reports said.

The USA TODAY/Suffolk university poll says that by 2-1, GOP and GOP-leaning voters now are saying that they want Trump’s policies but a different standard-bearer to carry them. The reference is obviously to DeSantis who is in Trumpian mould but does not carry his legal baggage. While 31 per cent want the former president to run, 61 per cent prefer some other Republican nominee to continue the policies Trump has pursued.

Trump had announced his bid for presidency in the 2024 polls on November 15 from his Florida home Mar a Lago even as he suffered severe damage to his image with most of his candidates losing – the biggest loss being in Pennsylvania with Dr. Mehmet Oz conceding to Democrat John Fetterman and football ace Herschell walker being rejected by voters in the December 6 Georgia runoff in favour of the incumbent Senator, Pastor Raphael Warnock to give the vital 51 to 49 majority in the Senate to the Democrats.

Even his favourite daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner are not happy about his desire to return to white House in 2024 as they still nurture bitter memories of their run off with his strategist Steve Bannon who now faces a jail sentence for his role in the January 6 incitement.

Now the Republicans have a name in mind as an alternative to Trump. And that’s, two-thirds of Republicans and those inclined to vote Republican want Florida Governor DeSantis to run for President. In terms of double digits, 56 per cent to 33 per cent, say they prefer DeSantis over Trump.

It has become increasingly obvious that “Republicans and conservative independents want Trumpism without Trump,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.

The USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll finds Trump, whose core support has however held remarkably solid through firestorms over his unpredictable personal behaviour, his provocative rhetoric, and his most controversial actions in the White House. But his legal woes are mounting and the Jan 06 panel is threatening to prefer criminal charges against Trump on the Capitol Hills insurrection and wants the Department of Justice to investigate him.

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Jack Smith as special counsel in the Georgia election dispute and he has already subpoenaed elections officials in four states.

Trump’s mishandling of sensitive documents he took while he left the White House, and investigations into efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the Georgia election dispute has mounted his legal woes.

A section of the Republican strategists blame Trump and his influence for the GOP’s failure to win control of the Senate in November. Candidates he helped recruit and support in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania lost races that independent analysts thought could have been won by more traditional candidates.

The poll of 1,000 registered voters, taken by landline and cellphone Wednesday through Sunday, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. The sample of 374 Republicans and independents who lean to the Republican Party has an error margin of 5.1 points, the poll said.

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