Trump 'will come back, and he will be elected' in '24, if he stays on message, Trump pollster says
Biden has become such a political liability within his own party that "he probably announces that he's not going to run" for reelection, predicts John McLaughlin.
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John McLaughlin, the longtime pollster for Donald Trump, says the former president can win reelection in 2024 if he avoids unforced errors and sticks to his message of economic revival, law and order and common sense.
In a wide-ranging interview with the John Solomon Reports podcast, McLaughlin said Trump should follow the game plan that Ronald Reagan used to win the 1980 election after losing the 1976 primaries, focusing on substance and an optimistic vision for America's future.
"There's only one person that can beat Donald Trump, and that's Donald Trump," the longtime GOP pollster and strategist said. "But if Donald Trump keeps playing it smartly and correctly, as he's done over the past two years, like Ronald Reagan, he will come back, and he will be elected."
While McLaughlin is bullish on Trump's chances in 2024, he believes President Joe Biden's anemic poll numbers have made him such a liability within his own party that he taps out of the next presidential race and doesn't run.
"Our most recent national poll last week had 65% of all voters saying that the country's on the wrong track," he said. "And of those that thought the country was on the wrong track, 67% blame Joe Biden."
McLaughlin had to reach all the way back to 1968 for a historical precedent.
"Joe Biden's numbers are probably the worst since Lyndon Johnson's were during Vietnam," said the pollster. "[Johnson] had to retire because he couldn't run for reelection. So it's not even Election Day, and [Biden] is done. He'll be gone."
Exacerbating the Democrats' woes, McLaughlin believes, is the lack of a credible alternative to Biden waiting in the wings.
"Kamala Harris, you know, she doesn't inspire anybody," he said. "And she looks like impeachment insurance, where as long as she's there, they probably don't want to get rid of Joe Biden. But he probably announces that he's not going to run.
"And in contrast, you've got Donald Trump where two thirds of the Republican primary voters nationally say that they want him to run again in '24. If he runs again, 81% say they'll support him, only 15% say they'll oppose. And in an in a crowded field of a dozen candidates, he leads by 30 points over [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis, who's the next closest, with 53-23, Mike Pence gets 7.
"So President Trump is definitely the Republican frontrunner. It's his nomination. And I think, correctly, what he's doing right now is he's he's out there rallying, trying to get voters out for the Republicans" in the Nov. 8 midterms.
McLaughlin sees multiplying signs of a Republican surge in the imminent elections, driven above all by the economic failure of the Biden administration and rampant crime.
"Three months ago, the Republicans were tied 45-45 in the generic vote," he said. "Then, in September, it was 48-44. Republicans went ahead. Now it's 49-43. We have not seen numbers like this since 1994," when a red wave carried Republicans to control of the House for the first time in 40 years.
Education is a contributing driver in the GOP surge, said McLaughlin, citing the eye-opening experience many parents had as a byproduct of school closures during the pandemic.
"Parents during the pandemic got more involved in what was going on with their children's education, where they were forced to stay home, and they have to learn remotely," he explained. "And the parents are now seeing what the teachers are teaching them. They're not learning math and science and English and language arts, the things that they need to succeed — and scores across the country are finding they're falling behind — instead, they're being indoctrinated."