There’s no reason to think that he fears losing enough to not try. He made it through the 2016 election - not just the general but also through the primary, which was a crowded field. He already KNOWS that he was elected president once already - whatever shady tricks may have been pulled to make that happen, the fact is it happened. If anything, having pulled it off once just bolsters his confidence that it can be repeated.
He also knows that if he does lose, he can spin it as a hoax, fraud, rigged, whatever. I’m positive that Trump does acknowledge the possibility of losing. But he knows he will be able to move on from it, just as he has moved on from many other failures in his life.
In short, no, he’s not going to go down in history as the guy who forfeited the game. That would be a bigger blow to his ego than trying and failing to get re-elected.
LOL, well, since we’re engaging in wild and crazy scenarios, how about this? If Republicans decide Trump is too much of a liability for 2020 and they manage to coalesce around some other candidate whom they feel can at least pull enough Senate votes away from Dems so Republicans can maintain their majority in the Senate, would the Democrats want to let Republicans get rid of Trump?
Suppose, as Icarus says, the Republicans get collectively brave and decide Mitt Romney has the gravitas to pull enough voters away from independents and Democrats to give Biden a run for his money. Even if Romney loses, if Mitch maintains control of the Senate, that’s a big win for them. They can frustrate every single thing Dems try to do for another 4 years – including replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
So at this point, how bad do Dems really want to get rid of Trump? We need a complete sweep, Senate, House and presidency, not just a change in the White House.
There are lots of signs that Republicans are already pulling away from Trump. Pence, McConnell and others wearing masks? Standing up to Trump/Barr in their efforts to undermine SDNY? Liz Cheney’s tweet?
Put it this way: If McConnell’s calculus is that Trump might jump ship at some point and leave the Republicans in a lurch, then what has McConnell got to lose by advancing a new candidate now, instead of waiting (as is widely speculated) till Trump does a runner in August?
Reality: Republicans are going to pull away from Trump. Trump is going to continue as the nominee.
This speculation reminds me of, not just the accepted wisdom that he couldn’t possibly win in 2016 (I believed it), but the speculation that once he found out what was actually involved in presidentin’, he’d get bored and quit within a month. Wrong.
I’m part of the way through John Bolton’s book and one of its interesting perspectives, besides the obvious and primary purpose of revealing what a totally unqualified and dangerous moron Trump is, is that much of it presents a unique insider’s view of the day-to-day life of an American president. The awesome responsibilities and decision-making powers have humbled many a predecessor in that position, and made them a better person and sometimes even great achievers, but the Orange Peril is such a fucking idiot and total self-serving narcissist that all it does is stoke his enormous ego like nothing even he could have imagined. So he’s not going anywhere, IMHO. He’s counting on a campaign driven by lies and fearmongering, supported by Fox News et al, and helped along by voter suppression, general voter apathy, and lots of the usual help from the Russians to overcome the fact that most Americans want to see his ass out the door. And when he does lose, we’ll be hearing about the “rigged election” for years and years, much of it no doubt on the new Trump News Network.
Yes. McConnell and the rest of the GOP establishment would love it if Trump were to “retire for health reasons” and let them save the Senate, do well in the House, keep state -houses, etc. But they know it’s not his nature.
Trump does fear the humiliation of a loss, but by now he’s already established his ‘excuses’ for losing, and he will cling to them. If he feels he has enough loyal Border Patrol agents and Blackwater mercenaries and Barr-loyal “federal” forces at his command, he might even try to enforce his desire to stay in the Oval. And his advisors will certainly try to invalidate the November election (which will inevitably be a loss for Trump) by inducing GOP governors to call off elections in their states (under the guise of ‘delay due to COVID and protests’).
Ideally McConnell et al could come up with $50 billion to hand Trump, so that he could start his own Trump News network and stay at the center of things. It would have to come with full pardons for the entire Trump family (except maybe Melania–Trump would love to turn her in on a new model) for anything and everything for which they could otherwise face indictment.
But the smart money is on Trump choosing to remain on the ballot on November 3rd. He will lose, and he will refuse to acknowledge that fact. What happens next is to a large extent dependent on how many Americans will be willing to brave the no-doubt terrifyingly-high COVID-19 infection rate that will exist then, and get out into the streets to demand that the clown retire to his clown-car.
I suspected that in early 2019, he would announce that he has been so successful, he isn’t going to serve a second term. That would have allowed him to never lose an election and go out as if he had been totally successful.
Running again was foolish, but I guess he just can not resist the attention of a campaign.
I was much more fearful of a takeover with loyal governors, Senate Republicans and Trump loyalists when they were all singing from the same choir book. That calculus has changed fast in the past few weeks due to the trifecta of 1) COVID-19 doing what viruses as infectious as this one do; 2)George Floyd protests and Trump’s quite terrifying responses to them; and 3) Trump’s failure to do anything about Russia paying the Taliban bounties to kill American soldiers.
Any one of these are game changers, but together, they make it all but impossible for Republicans to pull off an election steal. Trump’s approval has dropped fast, and there appear to be no signs it is going to recover before November. I’ll never say never, but it seems highly unlikely.
I also agree with @Little_Nemo’s mention of McConnell’s resignation to an upcoming Democratic presidency and/or senate being reflected in his asks for elderly Republican judges to retires so he, McConnell, can replace them. Implied in those asks is the acknowledgement, “while there is still time.”
More and more, red state governors are falling away from Trump. Those guys can be voted out, too. I think – hope – that messing with national elections in such ways as you suggest may be even a bridge too far for many.
The strategy of Republicans has always been, hang together or hang apart. There are too many recent defections for them to continue to hang together at this point.
And remember, once Biden decisively takes the White House, he will have the power to take any and all steps needed to clear the White House of any unwanted varmints. Folks in the streets will be helpful, but likely unnecessary.
At least, that’s my hope as things have unfolded over the past few weeks.
The bottom line is that the Republican party has always planned on having a future after Trump leaves office, regardless of what year that happened and under what circumstances. They’re not going to sacrifice their seats in the House and Senate and in state capitals and their prospects for 2022, 2024, 2026, 2028, etc for the sake of Donald Trump getting re-elected President in 2020. If need be, they’ll let normal politics take its course and move on.
I agree that going off in a sulk if he really believes he’s going to lose is very much in character. But I’m unsure whether his ego and stupidity leave him with a firm enough grasp on reality to ever believe that he’s going to lose.
It’s what they’ve always done before. But they’ve done a lot of things over the past 5 years that I never would have anticipated, so I don’t view a hostile takeover as beyond the realm of possibility. I would have thought stealing another president’s SCOTUS pick was beyond the pale, too – but it wasn’t. And let’s not even get started on things like ignoring Congressional powers in favor of a president’s, or ignoring a righteous impeachment/removal responsibility.
On Sean Hannity’s show a couple of days ago President Trump outright admitted that he was going to lose. They were discussing Joe Biden and Trump said “He’s going to be your President because some people don’t love me, I guess. . .”
The nice thing about his incoherent rambling is that it’s a clear look inside his head. You get to see exactly what his priorities are, and where his thoughts are trending. He knows he’s gonna lose.
I agree that it’s his personality to take his ball and go home. This is the guy who said that declaring bankruptcy was like a sport in the 90’s. But unless and until Vladimir Putin no longer wants him dancing, he’s gonna dance. I’m still not clear on why, but I suspect it has to do with extremely large loans from Russian oligarchs.
Wasn’t there a ton of speculation back in 2016 that he would drop out and let Pence be the nominee, and / or that he was deliberately trying to lose? I think it’s about as likely now as it was then. (To be clear, I think he probably will lose, but I’m not convinced that he knows that, and even if he does, he isn’t going to withdraw to give the Republican party a chance at winning, because that sort of thing just isn’t in his character and anyway he doesn’t give a damn about the Republican party.)
Idle thinking. He’s got plenty of campaign funds, more from Russia. Dirty tricks coming in the swing states; polling places closed, ballots lost, jiggered machines. Rove will pull something like a plant (Russian bounties - could have been a trick but seems SEEMS to be real).
Vote, get everyone out to vote. The future depends. Healthcare, climate, court systems, economy, civil rights.