Republican insurgency may be responsible for Donald Trump's defeat in the presidential election

On Tuesday we voted in five states, three of which are “swing states”, and not least: Arizona, Florida and Ohio (the other two vote solidly for Democrats, Illinois and Republicans, Kansas. ) If Florida and Ohio liked Donald Trump equally in 2016 and 2020 (2008 and after electing Barack Obama in 2012), Arizona surprised Joe Biden with an unexpected (and contested) victory four years ago.

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One in five voters are anti-Trump

Interestingly, on Tuesday, one in five Republican primaries in Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio voted for a candidate other than Donald Trump. The rate was one in four in Kansas. The rejection is particularly significant since the former president has officially had no challenger in the nomination race since Nikki Haley withdrew the day after Super Tuesday on March 5.

Early polling, of course, may provide part of the explanation: Many voters made up their minds before Ms. Haley left. But only in part because, in Ohio, for example, half of the early votes were cast after he left. The participation of independent, Democratic voters in so-called “open” primaries may complete the explanation, but, again, only partially. Florida thus organized a “closed” primary, reserved only for voters registered as Republicans. However, in this poll, 19% of voters did not choose Donald Trump.

Worse than Joe Biden

Although exit polls indicate that 75% of primary voters will “definitely” vote for Donald Trump and 9% will “definitely” vote, observers note the persistence of substantial opposition to the Republican nominee. They also note that such opposition is stronger in the Republican camp than in Democrats, with Joe Biden facing an average of only one in ten voter turnouts. The outgoing president, moreover, seeks to win back these voters, either by affirming his age with well-filmed campaign clips or by reorienting his policy in the Middle East, a source of fierce criticism on his left.

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In this context, we wonder about the role Republican figures can play in mobilizing voters. Some have already taken a stand against Donald Trump. George W. Black sheep like Liz Cheney, the daughter of Bush's former vice president, are moderate Republicans like Senator Mitt Romney, but hardline conservatives like Mike Pence. After the attack on the Capitol, when the president's supporters said they wanted to execute his vice president, Pence irrevocably broke with the man he had slavishly supported for four years. However, such a serious break between two ex-running mates is rare and we are keen to gauge its impact.

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Unexpected twists

Instead, Donald Trump can count on a surprising amount of support, even from the tired and humiliated. Support for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has come as a surprise since the Kentucky senator announced in November that he would relinquish all responsibilities as Republican leader and, therefore, expect no payoff. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununuin, a staunch opponent of the former president, initially favored Nikki Haley in the primary. Or, even more perplexing, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, who refused to subscribe to the myth of a “stolen election” and instead came under fire from Donald Trump, calling him a “traitor” and a “coward.” ” and “total disaster”.

It remains to be seen how these different postures will translate, especially whether Donald Trump's opponents will call for a vote for Joe Biden or not. Will hostility against the former president follow suit and spark a significant voter turnout, more reminiscent of 2016 when the Republican establishment boycotted the Cleveland convention? Such an event could have decisive consequences in a risky presidential election that will once again be decided by a few tens of thousands of votes in a few key states.

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