It’s hard to find anyone these days who is a) paying attention to Republican politics and b) thinks Donald Trump is not going to run for president for a third time in 2024.
But even as Republican go hurtling toward what feels like that inevitable outcome, there are signs that Trump as the GOP nominee come 2024 is a fraught proposition for the party.
There are two such signs in the latest New York Times/Siena College national poll of registered voters.
1) 54% believe that in his actions after the 2020 election, Trump “went so far that he threatened American democracy.” (Just 38% said he was “just exercising his right to contest the election.”)
2) 51% said that Trump has “committed serious federal crimes” in regards to the various ongoing investigations into him.
Consider those two data points. A majority of the electorate believes that the former President of the United States actively threatened American democracy and committed federal crimes.
And yet, despite those numbers, Republicans – or at least the Republican base – seem set to nominate him again to the highest office in the country.
Which seems, well, like a risk?
(Worth noting: In the Times/Siena poll, Trump takes 42% to Joe Biden’s 45% in hypothetical 2024 presidential matchup.)
The challenge for Republicans is that Trump remains extremely popular with the GOP base. Which would make it very tough for anyone – even Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis – to knock him off in a primary fight.
But numbers like these should worry Republicans about what they would be getting with Trump as the nominee. Are voters really going to support a candidate they believe broke federal laws?
The Point: Welcome to the conundrum of Trump – unbeatable (or close to it) in a primary and deeply problematic in a general election.