The Jay Weber Show

The Jay Weber Show

Jay Weber knows what you want to talk about. His show examines the big issues, trends, and events at all levels -- local, state, and national -- from...Full Bio


Trump can win the primary, but can he win the general?

Jay Weber Show transcript SEGMENT #1 11-16-22 6:10am

So- no surprise- Donald Trump is officially ‘in’ on a 2024 run...and presumably...he has satisfied that need to say it officially...

And of course, he’s got to be considered the frontrunner for the nomination, given his continued level of support by the grassroots-

But it is also true that that level of support is waning-

And it is also true that a growing cadre of conservative and GOP ‘thinker’s and ‘operatives’ and ‘influencers’ believe that it’s time to thank Trump for his leadership and now move on...

And it’s also true that a growing cadre of big Trump donors, like Rupert Murdoch, are publicly saying they want to hop onto the DeSantis train done, because trump isn’t the future of the party.

And it is-also true-that the anti-trump-24 sentiment was running strong among the group of republican governors who gathered post-election, to talk about the new direction of the party.

We’ll get to all of that today but let’s start with Trump’s announcement last night.

So, Trump is in.

And as the Wall St Journal editors put it: the irony is that-it is the democrats who could not be happier.


Because he’s the one republican who they know they can beat.

The editors ask the question that I’ve been asking for a week, now: will the republicans really nominate a man who can’t win the general election?

Unfortunately, they are correct: Donald Trump-now-divides republicans, even as it unifies and motivates democrats. 

Moreover- something the WSJ editors didn’t mention-

Trump has turned off 2/3 of independent voters. That’s not a figure I’m making up. It’s taken from several polls over the last few months now. Donald Trump’s rhetoric drove away the independent vote in 2018, allowing the dems to pick up 40 seats in a midterm election that admittedly Republicans were expected to lose seats in. That followed the historical trend.

But then Trump lost with independents-again-in 2020, and now in 2022.  The most recent polls have 2/3 of independents saying they won’t vote Trump.

So... how can he win in 24?

And why would we nominate him?

It’s a matter of math. Not loyalty. Not never Trumpism. It’s a matter of logic, and math.

And as the WSJ editors point out: a DOJ indictment could come against trump next-which would only work to further enflame his supporters...even while it drives even more voters away, permanently.

This is precisely what the democrats hope to see in ’24. They know they’re going to have a weak candidate, again, and so...their best bet is to hope republicans screw up and nominate an unelectable one.

I take no joy in admitting this. But I’m honest enough to admit it.

Trump’s group of advisors and his inner circle has gotten a lot smaller since 2020, too. All sorts of former appointees and advisors have since floated away from him...and will now only interact with him from a distance.

Others have turned on him completely, and most of them did so only after trump turned on them. People like Mick Mulvaney, Mike Pence, etc.

And so-you do start to wonder who is going to want to work in the trump white house, or the trump cabinet-if he would win a second term.

A different post story today suggests Trump wants to run a ‘smaller, leaner’ campaign again...of the sort he ran in 2016...

Rather than the big, bloated re-election campaign in 2020.

Okay...well....that could result in a nimbler campaign that is giving trump better advice ‘in the moment’, as Reince Priebus did five times a day in 2016...

Or it could result on a small group of hangers-on simply trying to run the rest of the ‘diesel dry’ on the trump train....

Maybe getting back to the basics and running lean and mean is what a Trump’s third attempt at the white house needs... The problem is...this isn’t the same atmosphere as we had in 2016...

The only real hope Donald Trump has at a second term is if democrats put up another ‘Hillary’. Another candidate so misliked and off-putting that the American people choose Trump, by comparison.

But aside from Kamala Harris or Liz Warren...who would that be?

I said yesterday- based on trump’s 58 percent disapproval rating and an ‘approval’ rating that is even worse than Joe Biden’s....

Well...Joe Biden could probably beat Trump again, but at this point? I’m not even willing to say Kamala Harris or Liz warren couldn’t beat him and none of us want that. Do we?

The ‘squats with union’s era?

They’d have to put up a teepee on the white house lawn...and make a rack where she could dry her animal skins and jerky...

The white Cherokee would be in the white house.

And while i am still firm in the belief that trump is the favorite to be nominated...we now have polling coming in from numerous states and numerous polling outlets that show Ron DeSantis is -currently-the more popular candidate for the 2024 GOP ticket. And significantly more popular.

So- will that hold into next year? Encouraging DeSantis to run?

Or is this just temporary angst over last Tuesday’s reelection results that fades over time as members of the grassroots flip back over to Trump?

I may be wrong on this-but my sense is that- once your average voter decides to turn away from trump...they aren’t turning back.

I’ve heard from all sorts of listeners over the last week saying...yeah, we got to thank Trump for his service and move on.

Is that reality starting to set in- for the long term? And right as Trump announces for ’24?

We’ll see...but there’s been a significantly stronger ‘anti-Trump’ tide over the last week than i would have expected-even with the disappointing election losses.

And the new polls are very early-but they show a republican party whose voters are ready to move past Donald Trump....I’ve got them in the stack here and will get to them later.

And yes, this week, there are a slew of Trump loyalists who are now saying...trump has proven he’s not helping, anymore...

But it’s also true that over the last two years...the erosion of members of the GOP grassroots has been slow but steady. 

The desire to see him run again-was already on the decline...before last week’s election results.

Maybe that’s why we are seeing a much stronger sense that we are ‘done with trump’ than i would have expected to see.

Jay Weber Show transcript SEGMENT #2 11-16-22 8:10am

I opened the show with trump’s 2024 announcement... And was making the point that his rush-to-announce...coincides with a much stronger ‘not Trump’ sentiment than i would have expected to see this week.

And the new polls are very early-but they show a republican party whose voters are ready to move past Donald Trump....

Other interactive polls yesterday showed DeSantis up anywhere from seven to 11 points over Trump in some states

I am-not inclined-to believe those margins.

DeSantis, for his part, was asked about trump’s recent attempts to belittle him...and DeSantis’s reaction was as ‘serious’ as Trump’s was ‘silly’.

That’s a perfectly reasonable response by DeSantis: I ignore meaningless attacks- we won huge on Tuesday. Trump didn’t...

But I’d like to point out that DeSantis’ rhetoric-and tone-are the way to defang and defeat trump...moving forward.

Ron DeSantis is smart enough that he has probably-intentionally-hit on this...but maybe it’s just instinct-

Either way-one of the most effective ways to deal with a loudmouth bully or a cartoonish villain is to treat them like an unserious cartoonish character.

Here’s a serious and steady Ron DeSantis saying, eh, Trump. I don’t have time for his cartoonish antics...

I tell yah-that’ll play well in the primary if DeSantis runs. Especially if he couples it with a steady diet of questioning Trump’s seriousness and sanity...with small jabs.

I’m not saying- overtly say trump is mentally ill. I’m saying...take the subtle digs that will have trump, himself, wondering if he’s not a little extreme or cartoonish.

As in... really?Donald trump believes that? Okay...butwhat i believe is....

It’s the hint of- we should all question whether trump’s position isn’t a little ‘out there’- and here’s what i think is better.

That is an effective strategy for dealing with difficult people. Get them to start wondering if they are being rational.

Really, tina?You’re going to have a meltdown over your lost stapler? 


I’d also note that Ron DeSantis is very good about talking about his accomplishments and in a detailed way. Donald trump doesn’t do that.

It’s one of the main reasons that- I believe- he lost in 2020. I repeatedly suggested that he should be taking victory laps over everything he’d done to make the country better...and instead...his rallies were full of relentless Biden bashing.

DeSantis is much better at highlighting his record of leadership and getting things done.

But this dismissive....’Trump is just noise’ argument that DeSantis made yesterday is going to pop up again and again if he runs in ’23. Watch for it.

I also mentioned other noteworthy shifts this week: we have   a growing group of conservative ‘thinker’s, ‘operatives’ and ‘influencers’ who believe that it’s time to move past Trump. Including many who have supported him until recently.

We have a growing group of big trump donors who are publicly saying they want to move on-to DeSantis -like Rupert Murdoch.

It’s not accurate to blame Trump for all five of those gubernatorial losses. But he’s linked to a few of them, yes, including Kari Lake’s losing effort in Arizona and Doug Mastriano’s in Pennsylvania...

And yes, Trump endorsed Tim Michels here, but this isn’t a ‘lost governor’s seat’. Tony Evers just got to keep it. Christie was talking about five govs mansions republicans have lost over the last few cycles.

And yes, i do think christie is blaming too much on Trump, but I’m reporting what was said and how a crowd of 100 insiders reacted. With vigorous applause.

It’s party leaders more convinced than ever that they need to move on from trump.

Then there are the big donors: trump had all sorts of major donors backing him in 2016 and 2020 who are all more interested in ‘moving on’ now.

A few U-K and American news outlets reported yesterday that Rupert Murdoch just spoke with Trump directly to tell him that trump cannot count on his support in 24.

Given that Donald trump has now turned off 2/3 of independent voters- probably permanently... ‘who we should give the nomination to in 24’ becomes a matter of math.

The GOP and Trump lost with independents in 2018, in 2020, and now in 2022. The most recent polls have 2/3 of independents saying they won’t vote for Trump again.

So... how can he win in 24?

And why would we nominate him?

As I said earlier, it’s a matter of math. Not loyalty. Not never Trumpism. It’s a matter of logic, and math.

 photo credit: Getty Images 

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