Trump’s Election Denialism Is Already Winning

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from Politico,

Presidents of the United States who have lost elections generally don’t go on to dominate their parties and win the office again.

Donald Trump has found a work-around, by denying he was defeated in 2020. This effort has been overwhelmingly successful among its target audience of Republican voters and has tilted the playing field of the 2024 nomination battle in his favor.

Trump has made himself the incumbent in exile, the sitting president in the hearts and minds of his supporters, the martyr of shadowy forces (so shadowy, in fact, that they can’t be readily identified) and the true heir chiseled out of his rightful throne by an unscrupulous pretender.

This creates a terrible dilemma for Trump’s opponents: How do you run against a defeated president without noting the highly relevant fact that he was, ahem, defeated?

A new CBS Poll underlines the dynamic. The top-line numbers, with Trump ahead of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis by 58 to 22 percent nationally, aren’t all that different from the latest Fox News poll of the Democratic race, with President Joe Biden leading Democratic candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., 62 to 19 percent.

CBS also asked what attributes Republicans would like to see in a nominee. Sixty-one percent want a candidate who says Trump won in 2020. That desire among Republican voters inherently favors Trump, since no one is going to be as adamant and outlandish in maintaining that Trump won than Trump himself.

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