Election day of the calendar year 2023 occurred nearly two weeks ago. In a climate that was once again expected to favor Republicans (much like the 2022 congressional midterms), Democrats outperformed their opponents in several meaningful state level elections across the country. Indeed, since Donald Trump won an upset victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, the GOP has struggled tremendously in every subsequent election cycle. In 2018, Trump and the party were trounced in the midterms, and the party lost many seats in the house of representatives after appearing inept, incompetent and unable to govern during the first two years of his presidency. In 2020, Trump became one of only a handful of presidents to lose a re-election contest as an incumbent and the party also lost control of the federal senate. In 2023, the party was crushed in New Jersey and Virginia after making meaningful gains in both states just two years prior.
Trump remains a politically polarizing and toxic figure and is an extremely provocative and divisive candidate. He remains unpopular amongst independents and moderate voters and is widely disliked amongst affluent and wealthy individuals as well as among women. Many Republicans who currently are challenging him for the presidential nomination (including the former governor of New Jersey Chris Christie) claim that he is simply an unelectable candidate.
Despite this, Trump maintains a massive lead in the Republican primary, polling at about 60%. The clear majority of the GOP voting base has galvanized around him. While Ron DeSantis polls in the low double digits and Nikki Haley threatens to break single digits, Trump appears very likely to secure the party nomination once again. While Trump remains extremely vulnerable and a 2024 presidential victory is far from certain, it appears the former 45th president is preparing for a second term and his team is reportedly vetting thousands of conservative minded individuals for many potential government jobs.