Former President Donald Trump continues to receive mockery from within the GOP consultant class for his botched campaign rollout, reported The New Yorker on Wednesday — and there is little indication his efforts to reboot and pivot have helped him.
This comes as Trump is coming off small campaign events in New Hampshire and South Carolina, that are stark contrasts with his trademark stadium-filling rallies.
"Establishment Republicans derided Trump’s début," reported John Cassidy. "'He’s turning into Mott the Hoople and doing the state-fair tour,' the G.O.P. strategist Mike Murphy, who advised Jeb Bush during the 2016 primaries, told me. 'It’s like a half-life. He’s shrinking.' Murphy wasn’t just referring to the small crowds that attended Trump’s events but also to polls indicating that many Republican voters don’t want the former President to be the G.O.P. candidate in 2024. With his legal troubles mounting and more Republican challengers on the horizon, Trump needs to rekindle some of the excitement among G.O.P. primary voters that he did in 2016. But does he have anything new to offer?"
The further problem for Trump, the report noted, is that he is running the same old playbook of policies from 2016 and 2020, without anything new to offer voters and get them talking about him — along with continuing conspiracy theories about elections being rigged against him, a message that caused catastrophic underperformance for Republicans in the midterm elections. Meanwhile, many of his potential rivals like Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) are employing his own playbook — something Trump himself has complained about.
“Trump’s problem is there are too many Trumps,” said Vanderbilt University political scientist John Sides. “That doesn’t mean he can’t win. It just means it’s going to be a different type of primary.”
Despite all these problems, Trump may ultimately still prevail in the 2024 primary, where he is still the only major candidate to have officially announced his candidacy. After previous polls suggested he might be losing ground, more recent polling shows him with a commanding lead over a field of potential challengers.