The Diminishing Value Of A Trump Endorsement

Running for governor as a disciple of Donald Trump, Janice McGeachin has done almost everything short of surgically attach herself to the former president.

It’s not just that Trump is omnipresent in her advertising, or that McGeachin mimics his flame-throwing rhetoric. She’s also modeled Trump’s flamboyantly defiant behavior, challenging Gov. Brad Little, a fellow Republican, in the upcoming primary and, as lieutenant governor, acting to overturn his policies when he left Idaho.

The reward for McGeachin’s performance is Trump’s “Complete and Total Endorsement,” which followed her pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago and makes Little one of only two Republican governors in the country seeking reelection to be openly opposed by the ex-president.

Not that the endorsement — make that Total Endorsement— seems to be doing much good. Less than two months before the May 17 primary, McGeachin (pronounced Mick-GHEE-hin) is fighting for credibility and traction in a race that polls show her losing badly.

She is not alone in facing those difficult straits.

Trump coaxed former Georgia Sen. David Perdue into the Republican primary against Brian Kemp after the governor committed the heresy of refusing to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the state. But Perdue is also struggling ahead of the May 24 GOP primary, as are candidates Trump endorsed in Senate primaries in North Carolina and Alabama.

All of which suggests Trump’s sway over Republican voters — and, by extension, the Republican Party — is diminishing the further he gets from the White House.

“A president’s endorsement is going to carry more weight than an ex-president’s endorsement,” said Q. Whitfield Ayres, a GOP strategist with extensive experience in congressional and gubernatorial races nationwide. “Especially an ex-president without access to Twitter and social media.”

Polls reflect the waning of Trump’s influence.

A January survey by NBC News found that more than half — 56% — of Republicans interviewed described themselves as more supportive of the GOP than of Trump personally, while 36% saw themselves as more supportive of Trump than of the Republican Party.

That’s a near-total reversal from 2020, when 54% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they considered themselves more supportive of Trump than of the party, and 38% were more supportive of the GOP than of Trump.

In a separate measure, a Quinnipiac Poll last month showed, by a 52%-36% margin, Republicans sided with Mike Pence over Trump on the question of whether the former vice president could have overturned the 2020 presidential election, as Trump urged.

Of course, much could change before Republicans vote in May. But if Idaho — a state Trump won by nearly 2-to-1 over Joe Biden — is any indication, it will take more than a blessing from the former president to boost his preferred candidates into office.

Issues matter and so, most especially, does the quality of each candidate.

Little, 68, an affable third-generation rancher and former head of the Idaho Assn. of Commerce and Industry, is a living embodiment of the business-oriented pragmatic conservatism that has long held sway here.

As governor, he’s cut taxes and regulations and kept a light hand during the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed businesses to stay open during the worst outbreaks but pitched the healthcare system into crisis for several months.

His reelection strategy essentially amounts to doing his job and ignoring McGeachin.

On Tuesday, Little appeared in the governor’s ceremonial office — marble columns, gold drapery, big Western oil paintings — to announce “a new online, one-stop shop” to find public meeting information for the state’s executive branch agencies. Standing before a bank of cameras, Little also worked in a lighthearted reference to his aggressive deregulation efforts, saying anyone who didn’t know his record was “living on a foreign planet.”

For her part, McGeachin, 59, was a mainstream conservative during a decade in the Legislature before transforming herself — like many seeking opportunity and advancement in the Trump era — into an acolyte of the man she calls “the greatest president of our lifetime.”

Her campaign has consisted largely of attention-seeking stunts, with COVID-19 the wedge she’s used to break from Little. (The two were elected separately, not as running mates.)

On two occasions when the governor left the state, McGeachin used her temporary authority to issue executive orders prohibiting localities from enforcing mask mandates and testing and vaccine requirements. Little immediately reversed her actions and secured an opinion from the state attorney general limiting McGeachin’s powers in his absence.

The governor, for good measure, also stopped telling the lieutenant governor his travel plans.

Lately, McGeachin’s candidacy has further degenerated.

Click here to read the full article at the LA Times

Comments

  1. Mr. William Saracino says

    A piece from the L,A, times about Trump? A HA HA HA HA HA. Wasn’t anything from Pravda available?

    Trump’s endorsement may be a mixed blessing for any number of reasons – NOTHING published in the Times about any conservative will be accurate or unbiased – which is what some of us still remember used to be the standard here at CPR.

    The site loses credibility by posting this kind of garbage from a garbage newspaper.

  2. BS, the establishment is no different than the left, globalists new world order! Not good for the citizens, or their constitutional rights. Power, and money is their agenda. Just my opinion!

  3. This just seems like an anti-Trump article. I am not familiar with this race, but if Trump is losing popularity, why are his rallies packed. Seems like a McGeachin bashing article also. I’d need more facts to decide my opinion than what I read here.

    • No doubt about it. The CA GOP is, in fact, in ‘shambles.’

      No wonder DJT will not hold rallies in this nonsensically ‘blue’ state.

      Too many screaming, crazed libtards and RINOs make it a lost cause state. The state was golden; no more.

      Want to be part of America? Move.

  4. This article is hopelessly biased. It’s reference that it is sourced as an L.A. Times article confirms it!

  5. Robert Wilson says

    This article is crap but McGeachin banned masks when the governor was gone which he reversed when he returned. I would elect her just because of this!

  6. Trump is trying to get rid of the corrupt RINOs who are one wing of the corrupt Uniparty. The Uniparty is losing its iron grip on America, fighting hard with propaganda. Better to have Trump’s endorsement than not. Follow Patrick Byrne and Jovan Hutton Pulitzer on Telegram and Locals. Byrne’s Locals channel is free. He gives many updates on the voter fraud evidence. Inform yourself. Don’t believe fake news.

  7. Glenn J Sheppard says

    Trump policies were great. And I would vote for him again against Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton. But, his choice of words and arrogant manner turn cost him votes. Yes, he is a fighter but he should tone it down a little. I am fiscal conservative and moderately conservative on social welfare issues.

  8. L.A. Slides isn’t worthy to be birdcage liner. Thank God I went to read the source of the article. That was close. Didn’t read one word. What is happening Capoliticalr? Communist infiltrated thus blog too? Adios.

  9. Typical LA Times “news.” Brad Little is a moderate who’s been typically doing some conservative things in an election year. There are a couple of other candidates along with McGeachin who have much better track records than Little Brad.

  10. Janet West says

    Many, many falsehoods in this article and also a terribly written article. I chose one lie to point out. Trump didn’t ask Pence to overturn the election. Pence was asked to delay the elector vote for 10 days and give the states more time.

    Has California Political Review gone woke too? It will save me time when I take it off my reading list.

  11. LMAO!

    This is pure RINO nonsense.

    TRUMP is the GOP. Period.

    Who is this ‘Mark Barabak?’ person anyway?

    Why even run this as a ‘news’ item? It’s trash.

  12. Lainie S. says

    While I’ve never met Steve Frank, I’ve been reading his column for years and know people who speak highly of him. I’m taken back by this trash.

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