Can the GOP avoid nominating Trump in 2024?

If there is anything like a saner head left in the GOP, it should be becoming clear to them that a Trump candidacy in 2024 would be not just a sure loser in the POTUS race but possibly disastrous downticket as well. (Yes, that’s what we all assumed in 2016, too, but let’s just assume it’s true going forward.) Other assumptions:

  • Trump is alive, not in prison, no less capable of running than in 2020, and wants the nomination.
  • Biden (or Harris) is beatable.
  • There are other viable GOP candidates.
  • No huge, unforeseen disruptions (e.g., large-scale war, zombie apocalypse) have occurred.

So those saner heads want Trump out of the way for 2024. Short of assassination or other criminal act, can they stop him from getting the nomination? Or will he, as in 2016, suck all the oxygen out of the room and dominate the primaries to an extent that the party has no other choice?

I think the party has no choice, unless they toss him out, wholesale. It’s not like they can afford to have a schism between the Trumpers and saner Republicans, splitting the vote - that would mean a sure loss (as sure as having him on the ticket, IMHO). As long as he has ALL the GOP by the short-and-curlys, he can do whatever he wants, and I have no reason to think he will not covet running again in 2024.

If he doesn’t run he won’t get the nomination, which is what I think will happen.

Can they actually do this? How?

I think the new Golden Calf is going to be DeSantis. They want somebody they can keep for eight years. Also, Trumpers will fall in love with DeSantis just like they did with Trump.

I don’t think it’s possible, but there is a non-zero chance (?) if the party leaders decide they’ve had enough losing and want to field a possible winner, they can just start enhancing/elevating the profiles of other people in the party. The problem is the Trump base thinking they can repeat 2016, and as stated, him sucking all the air out of the room.

@bobot: maybe they can make not running worth his while ($$$)?

Do you believe this, even if Trump runs – that DeSantis would beat Trump for the nomination?

And if so, how does the party keep Trump from blowing it all to hell when he loses?

I think at some point, probably after the midterms, conservative media is going to turn their focus on DeSantis. And make him the new hero and forget about Trump.

Trump in Turn will decide not to run bc the last platform he has is gone now. And since he can’t bilk his minions for cash with out a platform, he’ll move on to his next con.

No, I don’t think they can stop the train. If Trump wants to run, he will run and win the nomination.

There is nobody even close to the level of popularity with GOP primary voters. He gets over 70% of the vote in current polling. There is no “moderate lane”, even if all of those supposed moderate GOP voters had a single candidate to coalesce around (which they don’t).

Now there is still a chance he doesn’t run. But I think the money and attention will be far too tempting unless he has major health issues.

ETA: It’s actually more like 60% in primary polling. I was looking at some specific state polls.

I assume there’s sufficient kompromat on key Republicans that they will have to jump in the direction dictated for them.

Yes, they can change their primary rules to look more like the Democrats and eliminate winner take all and winner take most of the delegates. The Democrats allocate delegates proportionally, assuming you hit a 15% threshold.

Trump was able to win the nomination in 2016 by winning small pluralities and racking up delegates along the way. He couldn’t have done that in a system that proportionally allocated delegates in those primaries.

That would have changed things in 2016, but not in 2024. Trump, if he runs, will easily get the most delegates even in a proportional system.

There may be ways that they can stop Trump being the nominee, for example changing party rules to go back to the good old days of smoke filled rooms and ignore the results of the primary. I also think that Republican law makers and/or right wing media actively turned against Trump en mass they might be able to convince enough of their voters to rethink their support for the buffoon. But this would require a anti-Trump consensus among the party members that currently doesn’t exist. Also unless the Democratic candidate is really, really, vulnerable, this tactic would lose them the general election as a large portion of their base would stay home or write in Trump out of protest.

I think capturing the same Trump “magic” that Trump did in 2016, which really did motivated lots of never-before voters, will be extremely difficult for anyone else, even a different Trump family member (though they’d probably have the best chance). DeSantis is just another slimy pol. Trump is as slimy as they come, but he’s not a pol, and he never was. I don’t think the unique characteristics of Trump will be able to replicated so easily. The Trump fans absolutely adore Trump, to a level usually reserved for rock stars or ancient God-Kings.

I don’t know what will happen in '22, much less '24, but Trump is not just another Republican, replaceable by the next in line. The GOP has become the Trump party (as in inextricably tied to Trump as a person as well as a politician), probably for the medium term at least, maybe until it comes apart at the seams. The party of Trump isn’t just going to go back to a boring pol like DeSantis, at least not without some very major turmoil.

I’m concerned that Republicans might regain control of the House next year and use their abuse of electoral power to gin up enthusiasm for the return of Trump even if he loses the election conventionally.

I think he’ll easily shrug off a primary challenge if DeSantis has the temerity to enter the race. He was the worst human to occupy the White House in almost 50 years and 74 million people still voted for him.

Backing up just a step, everyone is talking as if there is this thing called the GOP which is separate and distinct from Trump. I don’t think that has been established. They may as well just rename themselves “The Trump Party”.

I don’t think this is true at all. I think Trump has a decent chance to win in 2024, either legitimately as he did in '16, or due to the fact that a bunch of 2020 election deniers are going to be Secretaries of State in the swing states he narrowly lost last time and the House will almost certainly be controlled by Republicans after the midterms.

If it ends up being Trump v Harris (which has a reasonable chance of happening), I’d put money on Trump actually winning.

The only way I can see Republicans turning away from Trump is if they have a truly catastrophic midterm election which Democrats successfully turn into a referendum on Trump. Even in that very unlikely scenario, I’d give Trump even odds of taking the nomination if he wanted it.

But, for the sake of argument, I’m assuming he doesn’t, based on something like …

As just happened in California. (Yes, I know, it’s California, not Georgia. But still.) Let’s say the GOP sees the writing on the wall – I want to learn if they can keep Trump from monopolizing the party again.