Webb Wrap: Trump will be wild card for Republicans in national politics

I don’t believe Donald Trump can re-win the presidency in 2024. He can’t put together a broad enough coalition. But he can certainly prevent any other Republican from winning it.

No one knows what Trump is going to do when he leaves the White House. He might declare he’s running again in 2024. He might keep everyone guessing for some period of time. Or, he might announce he’s not running, but will stay involved and become a kingmaker within the party. There’s an outside chance he might retire from politics entirely and go back to business. But I doubt that’s going to happen.

A united Republican Party could do very well in the mid-term elections in 2022, and could win back the presidency in 2024. The down-ballot races this year were a certain indication that the American people do not support bigger government and higher taxes.

If that’s what the Democrats try to deliver, they will set up Republicans nicely in coming elections. But only if the Republicans are united.

The big problem Republicans have is they can’t win the presidency without Trump’s ardent supporters being energized and motivated to vote. But they also can’t win without a strong showing by more mainstream Republicans. As the 2020 presidential election proved, they need both to win.

So there’s a pretty good chance the Republicans will be in disarray at the national level, with mainstream and moderate Republicans doing battle with the zealous Trump base.

Trump himself is the key to unifying the party. If he would say he’s not running, and will support whatever strong, conservative Republican wins the 2024 nomination, then the party could be united.

But if he decides to run himself, the party will be hopelessly fractured and will lose. Or, if he throws his support behind a far-right, fringe candidate, the party will lose. Whatever Trump does, his base will follow. They won’t be enough to win the election, but they will be plenty strong to be spoilers.

Some solid Trump supporters like Lindsey Graham, Mark Meadows and Ted Cruz may try to convince Trump to do the right thing for the future of the party. But history shows Trump will do what Trump wants to do, even if it is to his own detriment.

Trump will decide the future of the Republican Party in presidential politics. It’s anybody’s guess what will happen.

Good Read. Government technology magazine takes a look at how Gov.-elect Spencer Cox might approach technology issues in his administration. It says telework may be a priority for Cox to encourage population growth and economic development outside the Wasatch Front, and also public-private partnership with tech companies.

Political People. Bruce Hough told me he may run for vice chair of the Republican National Committee. He considered running for chair, but Trump endorsed Ronna McDaniel. He wants to unify the party, keeping mainstream and moderate Republicans engaged in the party, while maintaining the support of the Trump voter base. He also wants to the ensure the party stays neutral as a number of Republicans seek the presidency in 2024. Hough served twice as Utah GOP chair, among other positions, and is currently Utah’s GOP national committeeman.

Parting shot. In a short video, the Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Henninger says Republicans have some things to be happy about from the recent election. Check it out HERE.

If you have a comment, an item you think should be publicized, or just want to tell me I’m nuts, shoot me a message at [email protected].