In two separate pieces published on Tuesday, longtime conservative commentators explained that while Donald Trump still looks like the frontrunner for the 2024 GP presidential nomination, there are warning signs that his influence in the Republican Party is waning as his act grows old and fans seem to have grown weary of him.
Writing for the Daily Beast, Matt Lewis stated that there is more than enough evidence that conservative voters are beginning to ignore the former president as evidenced by the poor showing so far by potential 2022 GOP candidates he has endorsed and this past weekend's rallies in his new home state of Florida that were poorly attended.
Noting a report from the National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar that Trump's star is fading, Lewis piled on by writing, "Trump’s endorsed candidate, Sean Parnell, was forced to drop out of the U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania. Second, Trump’s endorsed U.S. Senate candidate in Alabama, Rep. Mo Brooks, is losing ground to a younger candidate named Katie Britt. Third, the much-hyped Trump-Bill O’Reilly tour kicked off with a lot of empty seats. And fourth, Trump’s endorsed candidate in a Texas special election, Susan Wright, was defeated in a race to replace her late husband."
Admitting that "Trump’s lack of coattails isn’t new," Lewis suggested that both Trump's overexposure has hurt him as people have grown tired of hearing about him, and now he's also dogged by underexposure due to his banning from social media.
Using former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin as an example of how a politician can become yesterday's news, Lewis wrote, "Now, it’s true that Palin did not possess Trump’s resources or media savvy (nor was she president), but her prime shelf life lasted for about four years (2008-2012). At age 75, Trump is on year seven of largely dominating the news. How long can he keep it up? At the end of the day, Trump faces the same existential threat we all do: mortality. In his case, this means both his literal and political life."
In the LA Times, conservative Jonah Goldberg hammered home the same point.
Noting that a recent poll shows that about half of Republicans questioned indicated that they don’t want to see Trump run again, Goldberg explained that boredom with Trump could mean conservatives and GOP lawmakers can feel free to ignore him.
"Some of this is Trump’s own fault. He reserves most of his passion for his bogus claims about the election being stolen. And while he’s persuaded a dismaying number of Republicans to tell pollsters they believe that the 2020 election was 'rigged,' the only pundits and politicians still talking about it are fringe characters, like pillow magnate Mike Lindell, bilking the true believers for donations and clicks," he wrote.
"The next Trump chapter in American politics probably won’t be satisfying to either his passionate supporters or opponents," he suggested. "The anti-Trump folks aren’t likely to get to see him in an orange jumpsuit and his cultists won’t live to see some sort of coronation. He’ll fade away, leaving his nominal party and country worse off for him ever having come down that escalator in the first place."
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