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Why Trump Can’t Win

Since Donald Trump incited an insurrection following his 2020 electoral loss, he has moderated neither his rhetoric nor his behavior; on the contrary, both have become more extreme. If this depresses Republican voter turnout even marginally, Trump is headed for a major defeat this November.

WASHINGTON, DC – Donald Trump was the unlikeliest of American presidents. When he launched his campaign in 2016, the closest he had come to executive authority was pretending to fire contestants on a business-themed reality show. As ridiculous as it seemed, the image of Trump sitting behind a massive boardroom table uttering his imitable catchphrase – “You’re fired” – convinced millions of American voters, including many who hadn’t voted previously, that he was a man who knew how to get things done.

That impression, together with good timing and good luck, enabled Trump to defeat political icon Hillary Clinton in a race that appeared tailor-made for her. But contrary to what Trump might claim, his victory was extremely narrow. In fact, he lost the popular vote by 2.8 million votes – a larger margin than any other US president in history.

Since then, Trump has proved toxic at the ballot box. In the 2018 midterms, the Democrats trounced Trump’s Republican Party. In the 2020 presidential election, Trump lost narrowly in the Electoral College, and in a landslide in the popular vote. In the 2022 midterm elections, Trump’s handpicked candidates were routed across the country, and Democratic candidates either held their seats or won Republican seats in key states – including Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – often by wide margins.