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Wide open field

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Nikki Haley, whose relevance has dropped off so badly that most people have forgotten why they hated her to begin with, is now entering the 2024 race for President. Why would she do this? She obviously has zero chance of winning, or even coming close to winning. The reason why Haley is running is the same reason why so many other unpopular also-rans ranging from Mike Pompeo to Mike Pence are also entering the race: the 2024 Republican field is likely to be wide open.

Donald Trump is now just days away from being criminally indicted in Fulton County, and just weeks from also being indicted by the DOJ and in Manhattan. This year he’ll be put on criminal trial (at least) three times, and at his age, a conviction on even one of those many felony charges will be a de facto life sentence for him. More to the point, it’ll obviously take him out of the 2024 race.

Yes, you can technically run for President from prison. Eugene Debs tried that about a century ago, but he only got around three percent of the vote. So yes, Donald Trump could try to continue being a candidate in the 2024 Republican primary race, even from his prison cell. But all that would do is screw up the primary; Trump obviously wouldn’t come out of that scenario anywhere close to the nomination.

Even if Trump weren’t heading for prison (and to be clear he absolutely is), his 2024 prospects are weak at best. When he left office, at the height of his incumbency and name recognition advantage over any future Republican field, polls showed that barely half of Republican primary voters said they wanted him to be their party’s 2024 nominee. He would have needed to become massively more popular between then and now, just to retain his previous numbers. That hasn’t happened, and now Trump’s numbers are far worse. Those numbers will drop even further once Trump is indicted, and absolutely plummet once he’s convicted. Even people who like the sick bastard are likely to move on from the idea of him running again, given the impracticality of it.

But again, Trump is being criminally indicted in three different jurisdictions. His life is over. The only real discussion to be had regarding Trump and 2024 is which kind of prison he’ll be in. He wasn’t going to dominate the 2024 Republican field even if he were legitimately running. And he isn’t going to be legitimately running.

This creates a golden opportunity for some other Trump-like Republican monster to step into the race in savvy fashion and inherit Trump’s support… if any such savvy candidate existed. There has been endless breathless hype about Ron DeSantis. But while he’s certainly got the monster part right, all he’s really done lately is flail around and demonize children while derisively saying the word “woke” over and over again. He’s such a brainless broken record, he’s almost surpassing Marco Rubio in terms of just how little of a political brain he has. The media, on both sides, talks endlessly about how smart DeSantis supposedly is. His every move reveals him to be a moron with zero political savvy.

In other words, we’re looking at wide open 2024 Republican field. Who will end up being the nominee? That’s anyone’s guess. It’ll likely be some new fresh faced right wing bullshitter who hasn’t yet been properly vetted and therefore isn’t yet saddled with endless popularity-sapping scandals.

But in the meantime, a wide open field means that anyone with a name – Haley, Pence, Pompeo, even John Bolton – can enter the race and remain in it for a long time before dropping out. If you’re a “name” candidate but you’re only polling at one or two percent, and there’s a dominant frontrunner polling at 40% or 60%, donors tend to give up on you quickly, and you have to drop out before the calendar even turns over to 2024. But in a wide open race with no frontrunners, the candidates getting one or two percent of the vote can keep conning donors into giving them just enough to keep the lights on, all the way to Iowa and New Hampshire, before finally dropping out. And by that time those candidates have landed lucrative book deals that are worth millions of dollars.

It doesn’t matter that people like Haley or Pence or Pompeo are unpopular and that no one will actually read their books. What matters is that they can use their failing candidacies to limp into Iowa and New Hampshire and use the national media circus to hype their well-timed book releases such that the public gets carried away with preorders in the hope of learning the inevitable tidbits of dirt about other candidates that are contained within the book. The publisher doesn’t care that no one who preorders the book is actually going to read it by the time it arrives. It’s all about the revenue – and that’s why publishers will give million dollar book deals to failing candidates who can pull off the launch hype.


This business model allows unpopular and irrelevant political has-beens to make millions of dollars simply by running for President. All they have to do is limp along long enough to reach the part where they can abuse the process to hype their book. There are literally millions of dollars up for grabs, and it’s the reason that these losers run.

Sure, Nikki Haley will humiliate herself by spending a year running for President and dropping out after getting 1% of the vote in the Iowa caucus. But she’ll be able to wipe her tears with her money after she lands her book deal. It’s the wide open 2024 Republican field that’ll allow her and others like her to cash in by losing. The fact that so many also-rans are entering the 2024 Republican race is de facto proof that it’s set to be a wide open Republican field with no Trump and no clear frontrunner. The media can hype “Trump 2024” for ratings all it wants. Those from Trump’s former inner circle, who would never even enter the race if they thought he was actually going to be a participant, are making clear that they think he’ll be in prison before the 2024 race truly gets underway.

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