More questions than answers as Donald Trump flags come down

See updates through December 3, 2022, at end of post.



Fig. 1. Flags in front of a house in Clairton, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There are one U.S. flag, two U.S. Army flags, one Confederate battle flag, and, less visibly behind a utility pole, a Betsy Ross flag. Photograph by author, April 29, 2020.

So, as I’m driving around southwestern Pennsylvania, I’m noticing a lot fewer signs and flags in support of Donald Trump.

The ubiquitous Confederate flags in the area almost entirely came down after the January 6 coup attempt. There are still a few up, but they’ve become rare.

Now, following a search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate;[1] the revelation that Trump is under investigation for violations of the Espionage Act;[2] Trump’s lawsuit to retrieve the documents, the very fact of which eliminates the possibility that he’d taken them by mistake;[3] and the failure of conspiracy theorists to satisfactorily, even to the faithful, explain why Trump is so desperate to hang on to those records, many—not all—ubiquitous Trump flags have come down.

I’ll talk a little bit about 1) what my mostly bogus “yard sign” methodology shows, 2) what it very likely shows in this case, and 3) the questions it raises.

First, the act of putting up a yard sign or a campaign flag shows a certain enthusiasm for a candidate. It’s a “tip of the iceberg” kind of thing that hints that there may be a lot more less enthusiastic support that will nonetheless turn out for that candidate.

So, for example, I was able to predict Ed Gainey’s victory in the Pittsburgh mayoral race because I was seeing so many campaign signs for him even in neighborhoods that might have been expected to turn out for the incumbent, Bill Peduto, and indeed all over Pittsburgh.

But in another example, I drove across the southern part of Lauren Boebert’s district in western Colorado on a recent cross-country trip and didn’t see that many signs in support. It could be that not very many folks are enthusiastic about a career built on stupid. But it could also be that support is so unanimous that people don’t feel a need to make a statement. I don’t know which it is. I’m betting she gets re-elected anyway.

When I start talking about yard signs and campaign flags, take it with a grain of salt. Even if for no other reason than that I sure as hell am.

Turning to Trump’s case, “espionage,” as in the Espionage Act, is a word that sounds a lot like “treason.” My guess is that a number of his more rabid supporters, who have had their flags up and their yard signs out for as long as I’ve been in Pittsburgh (over three years) are a bit embarrassed by that connotation and maybe a little less enthusiastic now.

That doesn’t mean that, given the opportunity in 2024, they wouldn’t vote for him. But it also doesn’t mean that they will. There’s a question here that wasn’t here before.

It also doesn’t mean that they’ve stopped being white Christian nationalists. But it could mean that Trump, the unifying force of conservatism,[4] might no longer be the force he was. It could be that the differences that had previously prevented conservatism from being monolithic[5] might start to re-emerge. I don’t know.

It also could be that all this blows over with the next news cycle, the Trump flags reappear (or not), and he is re-elected after all.[6] But with the Mar-a-Lago search and the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, there are wildcards in play[7] that were not before.

Hell, it might be that a few suburban wives made their husbands take down their Trump flags. I don’t know.

And I don’t think anyone else really knows either. Y’all should know I do not trust surveys with single digit response rates.

It’s a time to watch.


Update, August 30, 2022:

“What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy,” [Joe] Biden said, referring to [Donald] Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. “It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say something — it’s like semi-fascism.”[8]

But what have the Democrats actually done about it? Nothing. Even when it would keep them in the electoral game.[9]

It will take actual action, not mere performance, to make my 2024 forecast[10] wrong,[11] but what we keep seeing is that the Democrats do not actually stand in opposition to white Christian nationalism or to the longstanding Republican project to establish a competitive authoritarian regime. They enable white Christian nationalism and they enable the competitive authoritarian regime.

Such action, rather, comes from the Republicans themselves, overreaching in their support for Donald Trump, overreaching in their opposition to abortion rights.[12] It’s all the Democrats ever ask for: That you vote against the Republicans. And the infuriating part is that it just might be working.[13]


Update, August 31, 2022: Lauren Boebert’s district in Colorado is huge (figure 2):

Fig. 2. Colorado’s 3rd District, represented by Lauren Boebert, screenshot, taken August 31, 2022, from GovTrack website, use by permission implicit with the offer of an iframe.[14]

I drove across the southern portion of it, on the way from Santa Fe to Salt Lake City, on July 24, 2022. In my original writing, I had assumed that Boebert’s district did not encompass so much of Colorado. I have clarified the text.


Update, September 5, 2022: In a saner world than the one I think we actually have, David Frum would be absolutely right that Joe Biden succeeded in provoking Donald Trump into a ludicrously narcissistically raging response at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.[15] What we do not know, due to the unreliability of surveys, is the degree to which the electorate shares Trump’s grievance. Even among the greatly diminished number of signs and flags supporting Trump around southwestern Pennsylvania,[16] it is clear that some people still do.

Which is where we need numbers from a methodology I cannot trust: When the response rate, which should be ninety percent of a representative sample or more,[17] is instead in the single digits,[18] pollsters have a self-selecting sample that cannot represent non-respondents, particularly when, due to non-response, we have no idea, none whatsoever, how members of that self-selecting sample differ from all those non-respondents. This completely invalidates the methodology and I don’t care what rhetoric pollsters deploy to excuse themselves—the claim that polling works regardless[19] is belied by all the instances in which it doesn’t[20]—or what statistical magic they think they can employ to get around this problem—an absence of data remains an absence of data. This is a non-methodology that persists because we are desperate for an imaginary certainty of numbers,[21] and because people have built entire careers around this non-methodology.

It does appear that women are registering to vote in high numbers in response to the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, raising a prospect that Democrats may do far better—again, we cannot know how much better—than expected.[22]

The less rabid who would vote for Trump will need to choose whether they will support his candidates in 2022 anyway—the latter are not, after all, Trump himself—or they will stay home. Something profound has clearly happened with the removal of all those Trump flags and signs but I don’t know how profound. My present reading of the social atmosphere is that while Trump still has some rabid supporters who are likely every bit, if not more so, as insane as he is, he has at the very least lost a lot of enthusiasm, hence the no-longer visible signs and flags,[23] and I’m thinking, quite possibly mistakenly, that while Lauren Gambino and David Smith probably overstate the reasons for Democratic Party optimism,[24] the Republicans may indeed be in for a rude awakening. Only time will tell.


Update, September 10, 2022: With regard to Sarah Palin’s loss in a special election in Alaska, this is the factor I find most salient:

Sure, it’s possible that Alaskans are just sick of Sarah Palin. She abandoned them, leaving her governorship with a year left on her term under a cloud of ethics complaints. She bought a house in Arizona and had middling success at becoming a reality-television star. None of this seemed to work in Palin’s favor; in July, an Alaska Survey Research poll found her to have a positive–negative rating of 31–61 among the state’s registered voters. Maybe Alaska didn’t want its prodigal daughter to return.[25]

But that’s an incomplete explanation for Mary Peltola’s victory because, well, Alaskans had a Republican alternative, Nick Begich, III. They didn’t choose him either. At the very least, in Alaska’s ranked-choice voting system, voters preferred the Democrat to Palin and there weren’t enough who chose Begich.

Molly Jong-Fast believes the ranked-choice system should have worked in favor of Republicans.[26] I would question that, given Palin’s strong negatives. Everything I heard from Alaska is that Alaskans were really, really unhappy with Palin, pretty much for the reasons Jong-Fast states.

Are Alaskans really holding a grudge this long? I’ve never even been to Alaska but I’m thinking that, yes, they most definitely are. I am absolutely not, certainly not without visiting the state, ready to discount the Republican complaint that ranked-choice worked against them.[27]

Jong-Fast also points to two other factors that might have influenced the vote:

  • First, abortion rights.[28] Jong-Fast writes that

    Since Friday, June 24, when the Supreme Court overturned Roe with the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, there have been five congressional special elections. In every single one of these, the Republican candidate has underperformed against the partisan lean of his or her district.”[29]

  • Second, Jong-Fast suspects that anti-intellectualism, which has propelled the political careers not only of Palin, but of Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor-Greene, Donald Trump, and countless other Republicans, may have backfired.[30] This would be quite a turn. U.S. anti-intellectualism dates back at least a thousand years and to another continent.[31]

We’ll see it all play out again this November, as all three candidates in Alaska will vie for a new term following the one that Peltola will now complete.[32] But I gotta tell you, as the scandal over Trump’s mishandling of classified documents develops[33] and another scandal about his fundraising fraud resurfaces,[34] Trump flags and yard signs seem to be disappearing in southwest Pennsylvania where previously they were ubiquitous. I’ll continue looking, but their sudden absence seems as striking as that of Confederate flags following the January 6 coup attempt.[35]

There’s no small risk in attributing a statewide result to national factors—this applies to Jong-Fast’s consideration of abortion rights and Trump[36]—particularly in a state as remote as Alaska, yet such factors may be compelling here as it’s looking more and more like Democrats may do far better than expected in November,[37] like white Christian nationalism has overstepped, and like Trump is now dead politically.

I am very much wishing I could be on the ground in more places, especially including Alaska right now. I might have more insight to offer.


Update #2, September 10, 2022: I was in Westmoreland County much of this afternoon and evening (Saturday). I saw campaign yard signs in the style of Donald Trump campaign signs, but supporting local candidates, where I would expect to additionally see signs of various sorts supporting Trump. I saw “Let’s Go Brandon” (code for “Fuck Joe Biden[38]) signs. But I only saw two actual signs supporting Trump. I wasn’t counting bumper stickers, but these also seemed much less common.

Westmoreland County is much more conservative than Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is and where I live. Of all the counties surrounding Allegheny, I think Westmoreland is, visibly at least, the most anti-abortion. When facemasks were required for the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed to me that a substantial majority of the population defied the requirements. If Trump’s support has evaporated here, he’s in real trouble.


Update, September 24, 2022: I’m mostly in Allegheny County, but I was in Westmoreland County, mostly around Greensburg and Latrobe, nearly all afternoon today. Yard signs and flags supporting Donald Trump can still be found, but have become rare, albeit not as rare as Confederate flags. On recent trips through Beaver and Washington Counties, I’ve seen much the same.


Update, September 29, 2022: I’m not sure Thomas Edsall has it quite right, but his article[39] suggests that what I identified in my dissertation as authoritarian populism, which I thought to be Donald Trump’s original base, and with its definition of ‘liberal’ as everything they’re against[40] is somehow the illiberal unifying force that now renders conservatism largely monolithic.[41]

Edsall cites a paper by Marlene Laruelle which, in his quotation, describes illiberalism as “to some degree coherent; it represents a backlash against today’s liberalism in all its varied scripts — political, economic, cultural, geopolitical, civilizational.”[42] I disagree that this is in any way “coherent.” Simply being against something does not make for a coherent ideology and what Edsall describes, citing numerous sources, remains overwhelmingly about what illiberals are against. About the only thing they are clearly for is religion, principally Christianity with a patronizing nod to other faiths.[43]

Edsall’s view[44] leaves me with a rather glaring question in that he fails to explain how seven disparate tendencies, many with their own intellectual (such as they are) traditions, that I identified in my dissertation,[45] have somehow unified under an anti-intellectual incoherent authoritarian populism that Edsall calls illiberalism,[46] a term appropriate in the international context, and what I have labeled white Christian nationalism, a term appropriate in the U.S., Hungary, and Russia.[47] Still, to the extent he’s right, I feel some vindication: My initial assessment of Trump as authoritarian populist[48] seems wholly consistent with what I see here.[49]

But if this is indeed a correct view—and I certainly cannot say that it is wrong—then this monolith will surely be unstable. The intellectual differences must at some point reemerge.


Update, October 3, 2022: I’m guessing it has been a week or so ago that I was telling a passenger, who identified himself as being from Austin, Texas, about my yard sign observations,[50] and he astutely asked about a dissonance that has been staring us in the face. He wondered about the discrepancy between Republicans as “law and order” politicians and Donald Trump’s likely criminal mishandling of presidential records, prominently including classified records.

Yes, I replied, the “thin blue line” flags and the yard signs proclaiming support for local police white supremacist gangsters are still up. And, indeed,

“John Fetterman wants to release convicted murderers from prison,” warns the narrator, as a black-and-white photo of Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor is shown beside pictures of convicted killers. A caption adds darkly: “Socialist John Fetterman loves free stuff … but we can’t let him free murderers.”

The campaign ad from Mehmet Oz, candidate for the US Senate in Pennsylvania, is vintage Republican strategy: casting a Democratic opponent as soft on crime. The party is zeroing in on fears over public safety ahead of November’s midterm elections in an effort to change the conversation from abortion, climate or democracy.[51]

The strategy is also race-baiting, blatantly around southwestern Pennsylvania as those “thin blue line” flags and signs too often accompanied Confederate flags and Donald Trump flags (and, as well, messages that indicate a confusion of guns with penises),[52] and this is a point that David Smith does not raise. He does point to numerous examples of likely illegal Republican conduct, not just that of Trump, rather blatantly at odds with that “law and order” pretense.[53] It’s an interesting hypocrisy and I can’t help but suspect that it is a factor in the taking down of those Trump flags and yard signs.[54]


Update, October 14, 2022: I am seeing a few more yard signs and flags in support of Donald Trump around southwest Pennsylvania lately. They remain far less common than before the Mar-a-Lago search. Most, but not all, are of the “Don’t Blame Me; I Voted For Trump” variety.

Along this vein, I’m seeing a few signs supporting Doug Mastriano for governor unaccompanied by those supporting Mehmet Oz. The sense I have of the race for the U.S. Senate race between Oz and John Fetterman is that Fetterman’s momentum stopped dead cold with the stroke and this campaign is exposing all of his weaknesses. I’m a lot more concerned about how this race may turn out than earlier.


Update, November 9, 2022: It seems there is, after all, an upper limit to the crazy in Pennsylvania. Both Josh Shapiro and John Fetterman have prevailed, against Doug Mastriano and Mehmet Oz, respectively.[55]


Update, November 10, 2022:

“Candidate quality matters,” Erick Erickson, a longtime GOP commentator, said of what he described as a disappointing showing for [Donald] Trump. “They weren’t good candidates. They had more allegiance to him than anything else. The GOP might still win both [chambers] but this is not the night they expected.”[56]

A disappointing night for most Republicans turned into a very good night for one Floridian. Gov. Ron DeSantis not only won a second term in Tuesday’s midterm elections but also did so by a sizable margin — even winning Miami-Dade County, marking the first time a Republican has taken that largely urban electorate in two decades.

The results cemented many expectations that DeSantis would run for president in 2024 — a situation that’s already sparking tension with another Floridian Republican, former president Donald Trump. And to some Democrats, the double-digit wins seen by not only DeSantis but Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio on Tuesday have firmly ended the chapter where the state could be seen as a swing state.[57]

The former president [Donald Trump] inserted himself into multiple contests, endorsing candidates at the primaries stage when parties choose their standard-bearers. The Trump seal of approval proved decisive in several, but just look at how those Trump favourites fared. True, the memoirist and venture capitalist JD Vance won in now solidly red Ohio, but in swing states Trumpers performed badly. An election denier who had been present at the 6 January Capitol Hill riot was trounced in the race to be Pennsylvania governor, while TV doctor Mehmet Oz, another Trump pick, was defeated in the Senate race by Democrat John Fetterman – even though the latter faced persistent questions about his ability to serve following a severe stroke in the summer.

Perhaps most revealing of the Trump effect was Georgia. Two Republican officials who became nationally known when they resisted Trump pressure to overturn the 2020 presidential count in their state were comfortably re-elected. But Herschel Walker, handpicked by Trump to run for the senate in Georgia, was in a photo finish for that all-important seat, one set to be decided by a run-off next month. Meanwhile, a Trumper in New Hampshire was soundly beaten, while another, Kari Lake, seemed to be trailing in what should have been a winnable contest in Arizona.

As Wednesday morning came, a pattern seemed to be emerging. Even Fox News reporters were quoting Republican sources telling them: “If it wasn’t clear before, it should be now. We have a Trump problem.” . . .

Cold, hard logic suggests Republicans should step away from Trump, a man who has now presided over three consecutive defeats in 2018, 2020 and 2022 (four if you include the two Georgia senate runoffs in January 2021). But it won’t be simple. For one thing, Trump’s defenders can argue that they do better when his name is on the ballot than when it is not – and it is true that Republicans did gain congressional seats in 2016 and 2020. But in some ways that underlines the problem. Because in a year when Trump himself is not a candidate, like 2022, his absence weakens hardcore Trump devotees’ desire to turn out, while his looming presence on the scene repels the floating voters who decide elections. Put another way, the Republicans’ problem is not simply Trump the man. It is that they have become Trump’s party.[58]

It appears that the new “conventional wisdom” is that the threat in 2024 comes in the form less of Donald Trump, and more of Ron DeSantis. Both are white Christian nationalists; DeSantis’ résumé[59] suggests be may be more competent and therefore an even more dangerous—in a number of ways—president than Trump.

[Ron DeSantis] claims to not be a fan of rules and big government. The Florida governor first came to real national attention when he pushed a controversial laissez-faire approach to covid-19. That approach put DeSantis at odds with World Health Organization guidance, even if it wasn’t quite as combative as [Donald] Trump’s move to pull the United States out of that body. (Most accounts of Florida’s time during the pandemic suggest DeSantis’s policies were neither the success he portrayed them as nor the disaster his critics feared).

Unlike Trump — who still has his reputation as a dealmaker at heart — DeSantis may be more rigid and less open to persuasion. Profiles have repeatedly suggested that he has little of the personal charm or interest in social functions that many politicians have. Any world leaders who would seek a bromance with this man may end up with a cold shoulder.

DeSantis is happy to use brash rhetoric and even cruel stunts to make his point. He has flown Venezeulean migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard in a bid to own liberals and battled with Disney over gay rights — breaking with Republican orthodoxy to complain about corporate power. He has said France would fold if Russia invaded and sided with Elon Musk over Ukrainian leaders after the U.S. billionaire suggested Kyiv needed to negotiate a peace deal with Russia.

And while DeSantis appears to have accepted the reality of climate change’s likely impact on Florida, he has favored throwing money at climate adaptation rather than working to actually mitigate the problem.

As one critic recently put it, his plan has been “Hand out big contracts for patching up the impacts on pricey waterfront property while ignoring essentially everything, and everyone, else.” If the United States goes all in with that approach, it could impact everywhere in the world.[60]

Color me skeptical. First, DeSantis will need to win over Trump’s loyalists when, it seems, those loyalists won’t reliably turn out even for Trump’s endorsees.[61] Second, DeSantis, with “little of the personal charm or interest in social functions,” that Trump has[62] may lack the charisma to actually win nationally.

Fig. 2. Photograph by author, November 8, 2022.

Make no mistake. There is a hardcore segment of the U.S. electorate that was and remains infuriated by COVID-19 restrictions (figure 2) even as these have long since been lifted, that continues to interpret “freedom” as, among other things, the freedom to spread disease.[63] In Pennsylvania, they voted to curtail the governor’s emergency powers so they wouldn’t have to wear masks.[64] And there is certainly an overlapping segment of the population that relishes cruelty of the sort DeSantis displayed with unauthorized migrants;[65] they put bumper stickers on their cars and signs on their lawns that say “Fuck Your Feelings” and “Make a Liberal Cry.” Nearly all of these people support Trump. They would likely support DeSantis. But even in Pennsylvania, they didn’t get Doug Mastriano elected,[66] and I am not clear that this is a sufficient plurality nationally to put DeSantis in the White House.


Update, November 11, 2022: This time might—only might—be different:

It’s hardly the first time Republican elites have gnashed their teeth over [Donald] Trump or declared him a fading force. To this point, they’ve always been proven wrong, and often hopped back on board with the former president. . . .

Still, some Republicans warned about writing off a former president who remains the most popular figure within the party. They argued the blame should fall on [Doug] Mastriano, who lost the governor’s race by nearly 15 percentage points, and the state party for failing to rally the GOP around an alternative.

“Whether you like him or not, he shouldn’t be the scapegoat for every problem that happens to the Republican Party,” said Jim Worthington, a vocal Trump supporter from Bucks County who served on the former president’s health and fitness council.

He said party insiders were the ones who failed to turn out the Republican vote and answer Democratic attacks on abortion.

“Some of the elites in the party absolutely will despise that he will announce” a presidential run, Worthington added. “The rank and file, the blue-collar voter, is going to love it because he’s their champion.”[67]

As I was traversing the territory I almost never cover between Avella, near the West Virginia border, and Washington, Pennsylvania, the other day, I saw a lot of signs supporting Doug Mastriano and Mehmet Oz. I saw almost none supporting Josh Shapiro and John Fetterman, and I still saw very, very few supporting Donald Trump.

It’s been apparent to me for a while that there has been a gap between many Republican politicians and many Republican voters on Trump, pretty much since the search at Mar-a-Lago.[68] From what I can see, the politicians still running scared of Trump are out of touch with the voters. But probably better this than that they should all now swear fealty to Ron DeSantis[69]—some divisions in the Republican Party can’t hurt.


Update, November 12, 2022:

The narrowing path for Republican victory has stunned lawmakers from both parties, freezing plans for legislation and leadership maneuvers as they wait to see who takes control and learn the margins that will dictate which ideological factions wield power. Regardless of the outcome, the lack of a “red wave” marks a devastating outcome for Republicans, who believed they would cruise to a large governing majority in the House and possibly flip the Senate.

The GOP faces a small but real prospect that it may not reclaim the House majority despite high pre-election hopes based on the disapproval of President Biden, record inflation and traditional losses for the party that holds the White House. Late Friday, Democrats moved one Senate seat closer to retaining their majority in the chamber as Sen. Mark Kelly won reelection in Arizona. Winning either in Nevada — which was still counting votes — or in Georgia, where a runoff is set for Dec. 6, would allow them to stay in power. . . .

“It’s an unworkable majority. Nothing meaningful will get passed,” a dejected aide to a senior House Republican said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to candidly discuss internal tensions.[70]

By midnight on January 6, [2021] it was obvious that if we continued to sleepwalk down the path of crazy we’d face a rude awakening. Instead of facing those facts, the GOP spent the last two years heading in the same direction and actively avoiding any internal reckoning. After Tuesday, we have no choice but to heed voters when they say that ‘the grass is green, the sky is blue, and by the way, you just got your ass handed to you.’ But waking up to that reality is going to be rough.[71]

Whether you call it “sleepwalking” or pandering to an almost certainly criminal ex-president Donald Trump, it’s apparent that many Republican members of Congress continue to do so, complicating the question of who will be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives as well as any legislative plans.[72]

In a tweet Friday [November 11], [Matt] Gaetz cited several perceived deficiencies with [Kevin] McCarthy, including his telling other GOP leaders that President Donald Trump should resign in the immediate aftermath of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. . . .

Rep. Chip Roy (Tex.) has said “no one currently has 218” votes — the number needed to win the speakership in the full chamber. Moreover, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and Rep. Ralph Norman (S.C.) have declined to say whether they would support McCarthy.

“There are people who swear upon firstborn children that they’ll never vote for McCarthy,” another aide to a senior Republican lawmaker said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to relay private conversations.[73]

Trump loyalists have deemed Kevin McCarthy, from Bakersfield (of “Girl with Far Away Eyes” fame, and yeah, I think I know where those 20 red lights are), insufficiently loyal,[74] which is a good thing if you’re understanding that the Republicans need to move away from Trump,[75] but a bad thing if you’re still itching to fly that Confederate flag in your front yard.[76]

It’s really a classic question, and one we see on the Left as well: Did you fail to win because you were 1) too aggressive or 2) insufficiently aggressive in pushing base priorities? With a diverse electorate, this is never a simple question. But what’s even worse is if you even misjudge, as it’s increasingly clear many Republican politicians have,[77] where that base stands.[78]


Update, December 1, 2022:

As far as these [Republican Party] insiders are concerned, [Donald] Trump has now overseen three cycles of soul-crushing G.O.P. defeats. There was the 2018 “blue wave,” which saw the Republicans lose the House; the 2020 race, which saw Republicans lose both the White House and the Senate (not to mention the disaster of the Georgia runoffs); and the most recent midterms, in which Republicans dramatically underperformed the fundamentals of a slowing economy and unpopular president, leaving Kevin McCarthy’s potential Speakership suddenly in doubt. Indeed, even some of Trump’s most loyal supporters are scrutinizing his results card, including two presidential races in which he failed to win the popular vote, and wondering if he’s less an asset than a liability. “It’s proven that he’s a great motivator for a segment of the base,” the conservative activist noted. “But in the end, there’s another segment, which is suburban voters and independents. Not only does he turn them off, but he almost galvanizes them to come out and vote against him.”[79]

This shouldn’t be a surprise after the midterms, but a lot of Republicans seem to be seeing Donald Trump and his “stolen election” nonsense as a loser and Tina Nguyen is far from the first to say it.[80] Barely mentioned here is that there were—and remain—two wildcards, namely abortion rights and Trump’s legal woes, the latter especially over revelations following the Mar-a-Lago search,[81] in which, by the way, an appeals court has now overturned Aileen Cannon’s order appointing a special master to review the documents seized and ordered her to dismiss the case.[82]

It was following that search that Trump’s support in southwestern Pennsylvania became dramatically less visible.[83] And given those election results,[84] it’s now awfully hard to see Pennsylvania as an outlier.

But Trump really doesn’t seem to be bouncing back this time.

It’s been about two weeks since Donald Trump announced that he was running for president, and about half that time has been consumed by an utterly preventable, and predictable, scandal: Trump dining with Kanye West, now an avowed anti-Semite, and Nick Fuentes, a notorious white supremacist, at Mar-a-Lago. The Trumpworld spin room, of course, has repeatedly emphasized that Fuentes—the far-right pundit-leader of the so-called Groyper Army, who has frequently called for the expulsion of Jews and minorities from “white America”—was merely an unexpected interloper in Trump’s pre-Thanksgiving meal with West. But G.O.P. insiders that I spoke to were apoplectic that Trump spent these early innings of his campaign breaking bread with West in the first place. “Why? Why are we doing this? Why are we having dinner with Kanye?” a party strategist fumed. “What’s the perceived advantage there if you’re running for president?”

The Trump ’24 campaign, after all, was hardly off to a rollicking start even before Ye and his entourage rolled into Mar-a-Lago. First there was Trump’s deflating campaign announcement—a long-winded diatribe that prompted multiple audience members to attempt a mid-speech Irish exit—only a few days after a dismal midterm outcome. Trump had already been blamed by many in the G.O.P. for putting his thumb on the scale for a half-dozen oddball or extremist gubernatorial and midterm candidates, including Dr. Oz and Herschel Walker, among others, who likely cost Republicans the Senate. In the days and weeks afterward, Trump spent the bulk of his time holed up in Mar-a-Lago, shit-posting about stolen elections and imagined enemies, his own mounting legal headaches, and the gall of would-be primary challengers.[85]

Pennsylvanians especially might notice that Trump seems to be traveling down a similar road as losing gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, campaigning only for his base, and then only at the social conservative and paleoconservative ends of that spectrum.[86]

Nguyen repeats a warning that lots of folks (yours truly most definitely included) have underestimated Trump before,[87] but I think what she and I are both sensing is that this time really is different, that there is a skepticism about Trump we’ve not seen before, and that he really is through. Cross your fingers.


Update, December 3, 2022: This is just a really, really odd thing to me and I don’t understand it. I previously noted that “Pennsylvanians especially might notice that [Donald] Trump seems to be traveling down a similar road as losing gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, campaigning only for his base, and then only at the social conservative and paleoconservative ends of that spectrum.[88][89] The thing to notice there is that Mastriano lost. And it wasn’t even very close,[90] even if the election denial crowd is desperately trying to force recounts.[91]

It’s not like the results were much better for Trump nationally. He’s taking blame for what many think should have been a rout in favor of Republicans—the vaunted “red wave”—and wasn’t.[92] Yet here Trump is, doing the same thing over again,[93] apparently expecting a different result.

That just isn’t making any sense to me. And I gotta tell you, I’m just not seeing how it leads to a victory in 2024. I can, on the other hand, see much more easily how it might lead to a humiliating defeat.

As I said before, cross your fingers.[94]

  1. [1]Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo, “Trump says FBI conducting search of Mar-a-Lago estate,” Associated Press, August 8, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-mar-a-lago-government-and-politics-9e8d683afe87389407950af7ccfdbdd6
  2. [2]Renato Mariotti, “Espionage Isn’t the Strongest Case Against Trump. It’s Simpler Than That,” Politico, August 14, 2022, https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/08/14/trump-classified-documents-doj-opinion-00051584; Betsy Woodruff Swan, Kyle Cheney, and Nicholas Wu, “FBI search warrant shows Trump under investigation for potential obstruction of justice, Espionage Act violations,” Politico, August 12, 2022, https://www.politico.com/news/2022/08/12/search-warrant-shows-trump-under-investigation-for-potential-obstruction-of-justice-espionage-act-violations-00051507
  3. [3]Igor Derysh, “‘Lawyers are giggling’: Legal experts scratch their heads at Trump’s ‘very strange’ new DOJ lawsuit,” Salon, August 23, 2022, https://www.salon.com/2022/08/23/lawyers-are-giggling-legal-experts-scratch-their-heads-at-trumps-very-strange-new-doj/; Jennifer Rubin, “Trump’s risk of indictment for his document snatch just skyrocketed,” Washington Post, August 23, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/08/23/trump-documents-indictment-risk-skyrocket/; Asawin Suebsaeng and Adam Rawnsley, “Trump Tells His Lawyers: Get ‘My’ Top Secret Documents Back,” Rolling Stone, August 23, 2022, https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/trump-tells-lawyers-get-my-top-secrets-documents-back-1234580501/
  4. [4]David Benfell, “My 2024 forecast,” Not Housebroken, August 17, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/03/10/my-2024-forecast/
  5. [5]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  6. [6]David Benfell, “My 2024 forecast,” Not Housebroken, August 17, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/03/10/my-2024-forecast/
  7. [7]David Benfell, “I cannot yet tell you my 2024 forecast was wrong,” Not Housebroken, August 16, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/13/i-cannot-yet-tell-you-my-2024-forecast-was-wrong/; David Benfell, “The really, really, really wild wildcards in the 2022 and 2024 elections,” Not Housebroken, August 17, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/17/the-really-really-really-wild-wildcards-in-the-2022-and-2024-elections/
  8. [8]Ishaan Tharoor, “The debate over American fascism gets louder,” Washington Post, August 30, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2022/08/30/fascism-biden-trump-american-history/
  9. [9]Mike DeBonis, “Senate Republicans block debate on a third major voting rights bill,” Washington Post, November 3, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/senate-voting-john-lewis/2021/11/03/de00974e-3cc5-11ec-bfad-8283439871ec_story.html; Mike DeBonis, “Senate Republicans block voting rights bill, dealing blow to Democrats’ effort to overhaul election laws,” Washington Post, January 19, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/democrats-brace-for-likely-defeat-of-voting-rights-push-due-to-gop-filibuster/2022/01/19/2f9a734c-792d-11ec-bf97-6eac6f77fba2_story.html; Mike DeBonis and Seung Min Kim, “Sinema and Manchin confirm opposition to eliminating filibuster, likely dooming Democrats’ voting rights push,” Washington Post, January 13, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-set-to-visit-senate-democrats-in-a-final-improbable-pitch-for-voting-rights-action/2022/01/13/fde533b6-7475-11ec-8b0a-bcfab800c430_story.html; Matt Ford, “The Democrats’ Voting Rights Bill Is Dead,” New Republic, July 13, 2021, https://newrepublic.com/article/162974/democrats-voting-rights-bill-dead; Sam Levine, “Voting rights advocates frustrated by ‘same-old, same-old’ meeting with White House,” Guardian, December 3, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/dec/03/voting-rights-advocates-frustrated-meeting-white-house; Greg Sargent, “Joe Manchin finally makes it plain: He is in favor of minority rule,” Washington Post, January 19, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/01/19/joe-manchin-filibuster-voting-rights-minority-rule/
  10. [10]David Benfell, “My 2024 forecast,” Not Housebroken, August 17, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/03/10/my-2024-forecast/
  11. [11]David Benfell, “I cannot yet tell you my 2024 forecast was wrong,” Not Housebroken, August 16, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/13/i-cannot-yet-tell-you-my-2024-forecast-was-wrong/
  12. [12]David Benfell, “The really, really, really wild wildcards in the 2022 and 2024 elections,” Not Housebroken, August 17, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/17/the-really-really-really-wild-wildcards-in-the-2022-and-2024-elections/
  13. [13]David Benfell, “More questions than answers as Donald Trump flags come down,” Not Housebroken, August 28, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/28/more-questions-than-answers-as-donald-trump-flags-come-down/
  14. [14]GovTrack, “Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District,” n.d., https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/CO/3
  15. [15]David Frum, “Biden Laid the Trap. Trump Walked Into It,” Atlantic, September 4, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/09/trump-pennsylvania-rally-republicans/671344/
  16. [16]David Benfell, “More questions than answers as Donald Trump flags come down,” Not Housebroken, August 31, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/28/more-questions-than-answers-as-donald-trump-flags-come-down/
  17. [17]This according to Valerie Sue, the professor in my first research methods class, at California State University, Hayward (now East Bay), Fall 2003.
  18. [18]Steven Shepard, “Report: Phone polls aren’t dead yet,” Politico, May 15, 2017, https://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/15/pollsters-phone-polls-238409; Courtney Kennedy and Hannah Hartig, “Response rates in telephone surveys have resumed their decline,” Pew Research Center, February 27, 2019, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/02/27/response-rates-in-telephone-surveys-have-resumed-their-decline/
  19. [19]Steven Shepard, “Report: Phone polls aren’t dead yet,” Politico, May 15, 2017, https://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/15/pollsters-phone-polls-238409; Courtney Kennedy and Hannah Hartig, “Response rates in telephone surveys have resumed their decline,” Pew Research Center, February 27, 2019, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/02/27/response-rates-in-telephone-surveys-have-resumed-their-decline/
  20. [20]Dan Balz, “2020 presidential polls suffered worst performance in decades, report says,” Washington Post, July 18, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020-poll-errors/2021/07/18/8d6a9838-e7df-11eb-ba5d-55d3b5ffcaf1_story.html; David Byler, “Polling is broken. No one knows how to fix it,” Washington Post, July 22, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/07/22/polling-is-broken-no-one-knows-how-fix-it/; Mona Chalabi, “The pollsters were wrong – again. Here’s what we know so far,” Guardian, November 4, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/commentisfree/2020/nov/04/the-pollsters-were-wrong-again-heres-what-we-know-so-far; David A. Graham, “The Polling Crisis Is a Catastrophe for American Democracy,” Atlantic, November 4, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/11/polling-catastrophe/616986/; Steven Shepard, “Dem pollsters acknowledge ‘major errors’ in 2020 polling,” Politico, April 13, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/04/13/dems-polling-failure-481044
  21. [21]Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society, John Wilkinson, trans. (New York: Vintage, 1964).; Neil Postman, Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology (New York: Vintage, 1993).
  22. [22]Aaron Blake, “Buyer’s remorse could be creeping in for GOP on abortion,” Washington Post, August 25, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/08/25/republicans-abortion-politics/; Julia Terruso and Jonathan Lai, “Women are registering to vote in Pa. in numbers far exceeding men since the Supreme Court abortion decision,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 22, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/pennsylvania-women-voter-registration-dobbs-20220822.html
  23. [23]David Benfell, “More questions than answers as Donald Trump flags come down,” Not Housebroken, August 31, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/28/more-questions-than-answers-as-donald-trump-flags-come-down/
  24. [24]Lauren Gambino and David Smith, “Could unexpected Democratic gains foil a midterm Republican victory?” Guardian, September 5, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/sep/04/midterm-democrats-victory-republicans-trump
  25. [25]Molly Jong-Fast, “Sarah Palin Could Be a Harbinger,” Atlantic, September 8, 2022, https://newsletters.theatlantic.com/wait-what/6319112fda4cea0020f70f7c/sarah-palin-alaska-congressional-race-trumpism/
  26. [26]Molly Jong-Fast, “Sarah Palin Could Be a Harbinger,” Atlantic, September 8, 2022, https://newsletters.theatlantic.com/wait-what/6319112fda4cea0020f70f7c/sarah-palin-alaska-congressional-race-trumpism/
  27. [27]Molly Jong-Fast, “Sarah Palin Could Be a Harbinger,” Atlantic, September 8, 2022, https://newsletters.theatlantic.com/wait-what/6319112fda4cea0020f70f7c/sarah-palin-alaska-congressional-race-trumpism/
  28. [28]Molly Jong-Fast, “Sarah Palin Could Be a Harbinger,” Atlantic, September 8, 2022, https://newsletters.theatlantic.com/wait-what/6319112fda4cea0020f70f7c/sarah-palin-alaska-congressional-race-trumpism/
  29. [29]Molly Jong-Fast, “Sarah Palin Could Be a Harbinger,” Atlantic, September 8, 2022, https://newsletters.theatlantic.com/wait-what/6319112fda4cea0020f70f7c/sarah-palin-alaska-congressional-race-trumpism/
  30. [30]Molly Jong-Fast, “Sarah Palin Could Be a Harbinger,” Atlantic, September 8, 2022, https://newsletters.theatlantic.com/wait-what/6319112fda4cea0020f70f7c/sarah-palin-alaska-congressional-race-trumpism/
  31. [31]David Benfell, “Barack Obama asks, ‘Why is it that the folks that won the last election are so mad all the time?’” Not Housebroken, November 4, 2018, https://disunitedstates.org/2018/11/04/barack-obama-asks-why-is-it-that-the-folks-that-won-the-last-election-are-so-mad-all-the-time/
  32. [32]Molly Jong-Fast, “Sarah Palin Could Be a Harbinger,” Atlantic, September 8, 2022, https://newsletters.theatlantic.com/wait-what/6319112fda4cea0020f70f7c/sarah-palin-alaska-congressional-race-trumpism/
  33. [33]Scott R. Anderson et al., “What We Do and Don’t Know About the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago Search,” Lawfare, August 9, 2022, https://www.lawfareblog.com/what-we-do-and-dont-know-about-fbis-mar-lago-search; Isaac Arnsdorf et al., “Trump is rushing to hire seasoned lawyers — but he keeps hearing ‘No,’” Washington Post, August 16, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/16/trump-lawyers-fbi-raid/; Devlin Barrett, “Justice Dept. says Trump team may have hidden, moved classified papers,” Washington Post, August 31, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/31/trump-documents-removed-storage-room/; Devlin Barrett et al., “Mar-a-Lago search appears focused on whether Trump, aides withheld items,” Washington Post, August 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/09/trump-fbi-search-mar-a-lago/; Devlin Barrett et al., “FBI searched Trump’s home to look for nuclear documents and other items, sources say,” Washington Post, August 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/11/garland-trump-mar-a-lago/; Devlin Barrett and Josh Dawsey, “Agents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago seized 11 sets of classified documents, court filing shows,” Washington Post, August 12, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/12/trump-warrant-release/; Devlin Barrett and Perry Stein, “Mar-a-Lago affidavit says many witnesses interviewed, 184 classified files returned in January,” Washington Post, August 26, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/26/trump-affidavit-released/; Josh Dawsey et al., “FBI’s Mar-a-Lago search followed months of resistance, delay by Trump,” Washington Post, August 23, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/23/trump-records-mar-a-lago-fbi/; Josh Dawsey and Jacqueline Alemany, “Archives asked for records in 2021 after Trump lawyer agreed they should be returned, email says,” Washington Post, August 24, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/24/trump-records-archives-2021/; Igor Derysh, “‘Lawyers are giggling’: Legal experts scratch their heads at Trump’s ‘very strange’ new DOJ lawsuit,” Salon, August 23, 2022, https://www.salon.com/2022/08/23/lawyers-are-giggling-legal-experts-scratch-their-heads-at-trumps-very-strange-new-doj/; Alex Leary, Aruna Viswanatha, and Sadie Gurman, “FBI Recovered Eleven Sets of Classified Documents in Trump Search, Inventory Shows,” Washington Post, August 12, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/fbi-recovered-eleven-sets-of-classified-documents-in-trump-search-inventory-shows-11660324501; Renato Mariotti, “Espionage Isn’t the Strongest Case Against Trump. It’s Simpler Than That,” Politico, August 14, 2022, https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/08/14/trump-classified-documents-doj-opinion-00051584; Amber Phillips, “What could the Mar-a-Lago search mean for Trump legally?” Washington Post, August 10, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/02/07/what-is-presidential-records-act-how-did-trump-violate-it/; William Rivers Pitt, “An Enron-Inspired Law May Be a Sharper Legal Threat to Trump Than Espionage Act,” Truthout, August 30, 2022, https://truthout.org/articles/an-enron-inspired-law-may-be-a-sharper-legal-threat-to-trump-than-espionage-act/; Jennifer Rubin, “Trump’s risk of indictment for his document snatch just skyrocketed,” Washington Post, August 23, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/08/23/trump-documents-indictment-risk-skyrocket/; Jennifer Rubin, “Former GOP Justice lawyers: Trump’s in a heap of trouble,” Washington Post, September 1, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/01/republican-lawyers-trump-documents/; Tierney Sneed, “Justice Department ordered to release redacted Mar-a-Lago search warrant affidavit,” CNN, August 25, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/25/politics/trump-mar-a-lago-fbi-raid/index.html; Perry Stein et al., “Justice filing points to new legal trouble for Trump and lawyers, experts say,” Washington Post, August 31, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/31/trump-lawyers-legal-jeopardy/; Asawin Suebsaeng and Adam Rawnsley, “Trump Tells His Lawyers: Get ‘My’ Top Secret Documents Back,” Rolling Stone, August 23, 2022, https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/trump-tells-lawyers-get-my-top-secrets-documents-back-1234580501/; Betsy Woodruff Swan, Kyle Cheney, and Nicholas Wu, “FBI search warrant shows Trump under investigation for potential obstruction of justice, Espionage Act violations,” Politico, August 12, 2022, https://www.politico.com/news/2022/08/12/search-warrant-shows-trump-under-investigation-for-potential-obstruction-of-justice-espionage-act-violations-00051507; Eric Tucker, “Trump search inventory released, reveals new details on docs,” Associated Press, September 2, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-mar-a-lago-government-and-politics-6bd103a8e418166b17a34d77e8d9102d; Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo, “Trump says FBI conducting search of Mar-a-Lago estate,” Associated Press, August 8, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-mar-a-lago-government-and-politics-9e8d683afe87389407950af7ccfdbdd6; Paul Waldman and Greg Sargent, “Merrick Garland’s surprise announcement calls the Trump-GOP bluff,” Washington Post, August 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/08/11/garland-announcement-trump-fbi-bluff/; Marcy Wheeler, “Trump's Timid (Non-Legal) Complaints about Attorney-Client Privilege,” Empty Wheel, August 14, 2022, https://www.emptywheel.net/2022/08/14/trump-claims-the-ssa-receipt-includes-privileged-materials/; Jan Wolfe, Alex Leary, and Sadie Gurman, “Mar-a-Lago Boxes Had More Than 700 Pages of Classified Papers, National Archives Letter Says,” Wall Street Journal, August 23, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/letter-to-trump-lawyer-highlights-national-archives-concern-over-sensitive-materials-before-mar-a-lago-search-11661271403
  34. [34]Josh Dawsey, “Trump campaign has finally stopped their fundraising emails. They raised more than $200 million after the election with hundreds of pitches to donors to help overturn it,” Twitter, January 12, 2021, https://twitter.com/jdawsey1/status/1348808128754823169; Alan Feuer et al., “Trump’s Post-Election Fund-Raising Comes Under Scrutiny by Justice Dept.,” New York Times, September 9, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/08/us/politics/trump-save-america-pac-subpoenas.html; Simon Lewis, “Trump unveils $207 million fundraising haul after election in effort to overturn result,” Reuters, December 3, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-trump-fundraising/trump-unveils-207-million-fundraising-haul-after-election-in-effort-to-overturn-result-idUSKBN28E012; Peter Slevin, “Trump’s Election-Fraud Bluster Finds an Audience,” New Yorker, December 5, 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/news/the-political-scene/donald-trumps-election-fraud-bluster-finds-an-audience
  35. [35]David Benfell, “More questions than answers as Donald Trump flags come down,” Not Housebroken, September 5, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/28/more-questions-than-answers-as-donald-trump-flags-come-down/
  36. [36]Molly Jong-Fast, “Sarah Palin Could Be a Harbinger,” Atlantic, September 8, 2022, https://newsletters.theatlantic.com/wait-what/6319112fda4cea0020f70f7c/sarah-palin-alaska-congressional-race-trumpism/
  37. [37]Lauren Gambino and David Smith, “Could unexpected Democratic gains foil a midterm Republican victory?” Guardian, September 5, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/sep/04/midterm-democrats-victory-republicans-trump; Alex Griffing, “Drudge Puts Trump in an Orange Jumpsuit as Site Monitors His Potential Indictment,” Mediaite, August 29, 2022, https://www.mediaite.com/news/drudge-puts-trump-in-an-orange-jumpsuit-as-site-monitors-his-potential-indictment/; Molly Jong-Fast, “Sarah Palin Could Be a Harbinger,” Atlantic, September 8, 2022, https://newsletters.theatlantic.com/wait-what/6319112fda4cea0020f70f7c/sarah-palin-alaska-congressional-race-trumpism/; Nathaniel Rakich, “Yes, Special Elections Really Are Signaling A Better-Than-Expected Midterm For Democrats,” FiveThirtyEight, August 24, 2022, https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/yes-special-elections-really-are-signaling-a-better-than-expected-midterm-for-democrats/; Austin Sarat and Dennis Aftergut, “Americans are starting to get it: we can’t let Trump – or Trumpism – back in office,” Guardian, August 30, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/aug/30/trump-republicans-voters-midterms-democrats
  38. [38]Ben Smith, “Brandon Just Wants to Drive His Racecar,” New York Times, December 19, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/19/business/brandon-brown-lets-go-brandon.html
  39. [39]Thomas B. Edsall, “Seven Years of Trump Has the Right Wing Taking the Long View,” New York Times, September 28, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/28/opinion/trump-right-wing-america.html
  40. [40]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  41. [41]David Benfell, “My 2024 forecast,” Not Housebroken, September 10, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/03/10/my-2024-forecast/
  42. [42]Marlene Laruelle, quoted in Thomas B. Edsall, “Seven Years of Trump Has the Right Wing Taking the Long View,” New York Times, September 28, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/28/opinion/trump-right-wing-america.html
  43. [43]Thomas B. Edsall, “Seven Years of Trump Has the Right Wing Taking the Long View,” New York Times, September 28, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/28/opinion/trump-right-wing-america.html
  44. [44]Thomas B. Edsall, “Seven Years of Trump Has the Right Wing Taking the Long View,” New York Times, September 28, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/28/opinion/trump-right-wing-america.html
  45. [45]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  46. [46]Thomas B. Edsall, “Seven Years of Trump Has the Right Wing Taking the Long View,” New York Times, September 28, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/28/opinion/trump-right-wing-america.html
  47. [47]David Benfell, “My 2024 forecast,” Not Housebroken, September 10, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/03/10/my-2024-forecast/
  48. [48]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  49. [49]Thomas B. Edsall, “Seven Years of Trump Has the Right Wing Taking the Long View,” New York Times, September 28, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/28/opinion/trump-right-wing-america.html
  50. [50]David Benfell, “More questions than answers as Donald Trump flags come down,” Not Housebroken, September 29, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/28/more-questions-than-answers-as-donald-trump-flags-come-down/
  51. [51]David Smith, “Republicans’ lawless leaders at odds with midterm law and order message,” Guardian, October 3, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/oct/03/republicans-law-order-midterm-election-investigations-scandals
  52. [52]David Benfell, “The banners and the guns: Flagrant racism in Pittsburgh,” Not Housebroken, October 3, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/09/20/the-banners-and-the-guns-flagrant-racism-in-pittsburgh/
  53. [53]David Smith, “Republicans’ lawless leaders at odds with midterm law and order message,” Guardian, October 3, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/oct/03/republicans-law-order-midterm-election-investigations-scandals
  54. [54]David Benfell, “More questions than answers as Donald Trump flags come down,” Not Housebroken, September 29, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/28/more-questions-than-answers-as-donald-trump-flags-come-down/
  55. [55]Kris Maher, “Democrat Josh Shapiro Wins Pennsylvania Governor Race Over Doug Mastriano,” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/election-midterms-2022/card/democrat-josh-shapiro-wins-pennsylvania-governor-race-over-doug-mastriano-rdDSLqwHlckU7Q5yZYF2; Aaron Zitner, “John Fetterman Wins Key Senate Race in Pennsylvania, Defeating Mehmet Oz,” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/election-midterms-2022/card/oW3cFfkuo97s4Fa2Q9Sl
  56. [56]Isaac Arnsdorf and Josh Dawsey, “One likely 2024 GOP contender triumphed on election night. It wasn’t Donald Trump,” Washington Post, November 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/09/desantis-trump-2024-presidential-election/
  57. [57]Adam Taylor, “Is the world ready for President DeSantis and a Floridian foreign policy?” Washington Post, November 10, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2022/11/10/desanntis-foreign-policy-florida/
  58. [58]Jonathan Freedland, “The winner of the midterms is not yet clear – but the loser is Donald Trump,” Guardian, November 9, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/nov/09/the-winner-of-the-midterms-is-not-yet-clear-but-the-loser-is-donald-trump
  59. [59]Adam Taylor, “Is the world ready for President DeSantis and a Floridian foreign policy?” Washington Post, November 10, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2022/11/10/desanntis-foreign-policy-florida/
  60. [60]Adam Taylor, “Is the world ready for President DeSantis and a Floridian foreign policy?” Washington Post, November 10, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2022/11/10/desanntis-foreign-policy-florida/
  61. [61]Jonathan Freedland, “The winner of the midterms is not yet clear – but the loser is Donald Trump,” Guardian, November 9, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/nov/09/the-winner-of-the-midterms-is-not-yet-clear-but-the-loser-is-donald-trump
  62. [62]Adam Taylor, “Is the world ready for President DeSantis and a Floridian foreign policy?” Washington Post, November 10, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2022/11/10/desanntis-foreign-policy-florida/
  63. [63]David Benfell, “The modern Scrooge,” Not Housebroken, March 14, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/12/12/the-modern-scrooge/; David Benfell, “On ‘freedom,’” Not Housebroken, August 7, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/09/13/on-freedom/; David Benfell, “Swimming against a stronger tide,” Not Housebroken, June 27, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/06/27/swimming-against-a-stronger-tide/
  64. [64]Ballotpedia News, “The State and Local Tap: Pennsylvania voters pass constitutional amendments to limit governor’s emergency orders,” May 22, 2021, https://news.ballotpedia.org/2021/05/22/the-state-and-local-tap-pennsylvania-voters-pass-constitutional-amendments-to-limit-governors-emergency-orders/; Sarah Anne Hughes, “Voters back curtailing Wolf’s emergency powers in win for GOP lawmakers,” Spotlight PA, May 19, 2021, https://www.spotlightpa.org/news/2021/05/pa-primary-2021-ballot-question-disaster-declaration-results/
  65. [65]Lisa Kashinski, Sue Allan, and Gary Fineout, “GOP governors put focus on migrants with Martha’s Vineyard transport,” Politico, September 15, 2022, https://www.politico.com/news/2022/09/15/desantis-migrants-marthas-vineyard-immigration-florida-00056870; Alexander Thompson et al., “‘At first they were surprised, just like us.’ Martha’s Vineyard responds to surprise arrival of planeloads of migrants,” Boston Globe, September 15, 2022, https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/09/15/metro/marthas-vineyard-responds-surprise-arrival-planeloads-migrants/
  66. [66]Kris Maher, “Democrat Josh Shapiro Wins Pennsylvania Governor Race Over Doug Mastriano,” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/election-midterms-2022/card/democrat-josh-shapiro-wins-pennsylvania-governor-race-over-doug-mastriano-rdDSLqwHlckU7Q5yZYF2
  67. [67]Jonathan Tamari and William Bender, “‘It’s time for him to retire’: Some Pa. Republicans want to push Trump aside after their election losses,” Philadelphia Inquirer, November 10, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/pa-republicans-blame-trump-2022-losses-20221110.html
  68. [68]David Benfell, “More questions than answers as Donald Trump flags come down,” Not Housebroken, November 10, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/28/more-questions-than-answers-as-donald-trump-flags-come-down/
  69. [69]Isaac Arnsdorf and Josh Dawsey, “One likely 2024 GOP contender triumphed on election night. It wasn’t Donald Trump,” Washington Post, November 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/09/desantis-trump-2024-presidential-election/; Jonathan Freedland, “The winner of the midterms is not yet clear – but the loser is Donald Trump,” Guardian, November 9, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/nov/09/the-winner-of-the-midterms-is-not-yet-clear-but-the-loser-is-donald-trump; David Lauter, “The midterm’s big loser: Trump suffers multiple defeats,” Los Angeles Times, November 9, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/politics/newsletter/2022-11-09/the-midterms-big-loser-trump-suffers-multiple-defeats-essential-politics
  70. [70]Marianna Sotomayor et al., “Congressional Republicans panic as they watch their lead dwindle,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/senate-republicans-mcconnell-midterms/
  71. [71]Peter Meijer, quoted in Marianna Sotomayor et al., “Congressional Republicans panic as they watch their lead dwindle,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/senate-republicans-mcconnell-midterms/
  72. [72]Marianna Sotomayor et al., “Congressional Republicans panic as they watch their lead dwindle,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/senate-republicans-mcconnell-midterms/
  73. [73]Marianna Sotomayor et al., “Congressional Republicans panic as they watch their lead dwindle,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/senate-republicans-mcconnell-midterms/
  74. [74]Marianna Sotomayor et al., “Congressional Republicans panic as they watch their lead dwindle,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/senate-republicans-mcconnell-midterms/
  75. [75]Isaac Arnsdorf and Josh Dawsey, “One likely 2024 GOP contender triumphed on election night. It wasn’t Donald Trump,” Washington Post, November 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/09/desantis-trump-2024-presidential-election/; Jonathan Freedland, “The winner of the midterms is not yet clear – but the loser is Donald Trump,” Guardian, November 9, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/nov/09/the-winner-of-the-midterms-is-not-yet-clear-but-the-loser-is-donald-trump; Liz Goodwin, “A red wave of criticism crashes into Donald Trump after midterm losses,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/trump-criticism-midterms-republicans/; David Lauter, “The midterm’s big loser: Trump suffers multiple defeats,” Los Angeles Times, November 9, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/politics/newsletter/2022-11-09/the-midterms-big-loser-trump-suffers-multiple-defeats-essential-politics
  76. [76]David Benfell, “More questions than answers as Donald Trump flags come down,” Not Housebroken, November 11, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/28/more-questions-than-answers-as-donald-trump-flags-come-down/
  77. [77]Liz Goodwin, “A red wave of criticism crashes into Donald Trump after midterm losses,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/trump-criticism-midterms-republicans/
  78. [78]David Benfell, “More questions than answers as Donald Trump flags come down,” Not Housebroken, November 11, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/28/more-questions-than-answers-as-donald-trump-flags-come-down/
  79. [79]Tina Nguyen, “Has Trump Already Lost ’24?” Puck News, November 30, 2022, https://puck.news/has-trump-already-lost-24/
  80. [80]Natalie Andrews, Siobhan Hughes, and Lindsay Wise, “Frustrated Republicans Try to Explain Lack of Midterm ‘Red Wave,’” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/frustrated-republicans-try-to-explain-lack-of-midterm-red-wave-11668036382; Isaac Arnsdorf and Josh Dawsey, “One likely 2024 GOP contender triumphed on election night. It wasn’t Donald Trump,” Washington Post, November 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/09/desantis-trump-2024-presidential-election/; Dan Balz, “The vaunted red wave never hit the shore in midterm elections,” Washington Post, November 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/08/midterms-dissatisfied-voters-render-judgments-biden-republicans/; Jonathan Freedland, “The winner of the midterms is not yet clear – but the loser is Donald Trump,” Guardian, November 9, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/nov/09/the-winner-of-the-midterms-is-not-yet-clear-but-the-loser-is-donald-trump; Amy Gardner, Reis Thebault, and Robert Klemko, “Election deniers lose races for key state offices in every 2020 battleground,” Washington Post, November 13, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2022/11/13/election-deniers-defeated-state-races/; Liz Goodwin, “A red wave of criticism crashes into Donald Trump after midterm losses,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/trump-criticism-midterms-republicans/; David Lauter, “The midterm’s big loser: Trump suffers multiple defeats,” Los Angeles Times, November 9, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/politics/newsletter/2022-11-09/the-midterms-big-loser-trump-suffers-multiple-defeats-essential-politics; Tina Nguyen, “Has Trump Already Lost ’24?” Puck News, November 30, 2022, https://puck.news/has-trump-already-lost-24/; Greg Sargent, “Republicans want Trump to take the blame. Good luck with that,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/11/11/trump-midterm-elections-gop-abortion-rights-2024/; Marianna Sotomayor et al., “Congressional Republicans panic as they watch their lead dwindle,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/senate-republicans-mcconnell-midterms/; Brian Slodysko, “Election takeaways: No sweep for the Republicans after all,” Associated Press, November 9, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/2022-midterm-elections-takeaways-9381d3aaff26d19da95506e045fcd6e1; Jonathan Tamari and William Bender, “‘It’s time for him to retire’: Some Pa. Republicans want to push Trump aside after their election losses,” Philadelphia Inquirer, November 10, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/pa-republicans-blame-trump-2022-losses-20221110.html; Chris Walker, “Trump Is Blaming Everyone But Himself for Midterm Losses — Including His Wife,” Truthout, November 10, 2022, https://truthout.org/articles/trump-is-blaming-everyone-but-himself-for-midterm-losses-including-his-wife/
  81. [81]David Benfell, “The really, really, really wild wildcards in the 2022 and 2024 elections,” Not Housebroken, November 10, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/17/the-really-really-really-wild-wildcards-in-the-2022-and-2024-elections/
  82. [82]Tierney Sneed, “Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago in major defeat for Trump,” CNN, December 1, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/01/politics/mar-a-lago-special-master/index.html
  83. [83]David Benfell, “More questions than answers as Donald Trump flags come down,” Not Housebroken, November 12, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/28/more-questions-than-answers-as-donald-trump-flags-come-down/
  84. [84]Natalie Andrews, Siobhan Hughes, and Lindsay Wise, “Frustrated Republicans Try to Explain Lack of Midterm ‘Red Wave,’” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/frustrated-republicans-try-to-explain-lack-of-midterm-red-wave-11668036382; Isaac Arnsdorf and Josh Dawsey, “One likely 2024 GOP contender triumphed on election night. It wasn’t Donald Trump,” Washington Post, November 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/09/desantis-trump-2024-presidential-election/; Dan Balz, “The vaunted red wave never hit the shore in midterm elections,” Washington Post, November 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/08/midterms-dissatisfied-voters-render-judgments-biden-republicans/; Jonathan Freedland, “The winner of the midterms is not yet clear – but the loser is Donald Trump,” Guardian, November 9, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/nov/09/the-winner-of-the-midterms-is-not-yet-clear-but-the-loser-is-donald-trump; Amy Gardner, Reis Thebault, and Robert Klemko, “Election deniers lose races for key state offices in every 2020 battleground,” Washington Post, November 13, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2022/11/13/election-deniers-defeated-state-races/; Liz Goodwin, “A red wave of criticism crashes into Donald Trump after midterm losses,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/trump-criticism-midterms-republicans/; David Lauter, “The midterm’s big loser: Trump suffers multiple defeats,” Los Angeles Times, November 9, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/politics/newsletter/2022-11-09/the-midterms-big-loser-trump-suffers-multiple-defeats-essential-politics; Tina Nguyen, “Has Trump Already Lost ’24?” Puck News, November 30, 2022, https://puck.news/has-trump-already-lost-24/; Greg Sargent, “Republicans want Trump to take the blame. Good luck with that,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/11/11/trump-midterm-elections-gop-abortion-rights-2024/; Marianna Sotomayor et al., “Congressional Republicans panic as they watch their lead dwindle,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/senate-republicans-mcconnell-midterms/; Brian Slodysko, “Election takeaways: No sweep for the Republicans after all,” Associated Press, November 9, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/2022-midterm-elections-takeaways-9381d3aaff26d19da95506e045fcd6e1; Jonathan Tamari and William Bender, “‘It’s time for him to retire’: Some Pa. Republicans want to push Trump aside after their election losses,” Philadelphia Inquirer, November 10, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/pa-republicans-blame-trump-2022-losses-20221110.html; Chris Walker, “Trump Is Blaming Everyone But Himself for Midterm Losses — Including His Wife,” Truthout, November 10, 2022, https://truthout.org/articles/trump-is-blaming-everyone-but-himself-for-midterm-losses-including-his-wife/
  85. [85]Tina Nguyen, “Has Trump Already Lost ’24?” Puck News, November 30, 2022, https://puck.news/has-trump-already-lost-24/
  86. [86]William Bender, “Doug Mastriano’s comments on Islam and climate change resurface, the latest hit for his campaign,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 19, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/doug-mastriano-islam-global-warming-2018-governor-pennsylvania-20220819.html; William Bender, “In a rare rebuke, two retired War College professors say Doug Mastriano is unfit to be governor,” Philadelphia Inquirer, October 16, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/news/doug-mastriano-war-college-biddle-coplen-alvin-york-20221016.html; William Bender and Jonathan Tamari, “As campaign struggles, Doug Mastriano plans ‘40 days of fasting and prayer,’” Philadelphia Inquirer, September 28, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/news/doug-mastriano-fasting-prayer-campaign-rally-struggling-20220928.html; Chris Brennan, “‘Mastriano is unacceptable’: A group of Pennsylvania Republicans is organizing to support Shapiro,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 6, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/josh-shapiro-doug-mastriano-governor-republicans-endorsements-20220706.html; Chris Brennan, “Doug Mastriano wore a Confederate Army uniform in an Army War College faculty photo,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 26, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/pennsylvania/doug-mastriano-confederate-uniform-photo-army-war-college-20220826.html; Chris Brennan, “Doug Mastriano will flirt again with the QAnon crowd as another election approaches,” Philadelphia Inquirer, October 21, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/clout/doug-mastriano-josh-shapiro-governor-election-mike-flynn-rudy-giuliani-20221021.html; Stephen Caruso and Ethan Edward Coston, “How Doug Mastriano built a grassroots movement in Pa. on election denial, Christianity, and Facebook,” Spotlight PA, May 23, 2022, https://www.spotlightpa.org/news/2022/05/doug-mastriano-pa-governor-pennsylvania-shapiro/; Philissa Cramer, “Republican Jews call on Doug Mastriano, GOP candidate for PA governor, to stop using Gab,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, July 22, 2022, https://www.jta.org/2022/07/22/politics/republican-jews-call-on-doug-mastriano-gop-candidate-for-pa-governor-to-stop-using-gab; Ron Kampeas, “Critics compare salutes at Trump and Mastriano rallies to Nazi ‘Sieg Heil,’” Times of Israel, September 20, 2022, https://www.timesofisrael.com/critics-compare-salutes-at-trump-mastriano-rallies-to-nazi-sieg-heil/; Dana Milbank, “And on the eighth day, God said: Let Mastriano win Pennsylvania,” Washington Post, September 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/09/doug-mastriano-prophet-julie-green/; Tina Nguyen, “Doug Mastriano’s Snowflake Strategy,” Puck News, September 14, 2022, https://puck.news/doug-mastrianos-snowflake-strategy/; Greg Sargent, “Say it clearly: Republicans just nominated a pro-Trump insurrectionist,” Washington Post, May 18, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/05/18/doug-mastriano-insurrectionist/; Andrew Seidman, “A top GOP candidate for governor campaigned at an event promoting QAnon and conspiracy theories about 9/11,” Philadelphia Inquirer, April 27, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/doug-mastriano-teddy-daniels-qanon-conference-gop-candidates-20220427.html
  87. [87]Tina Nguyen, “Has Trump Already Lost ’24?” Puck News, November 30, 2022, https://puck.news/has-trump-already-lost-24/
  88. [88]William Bender, “Doug Mastriano’s comments on Islam and climate change resurface, the latest hit for his campaign,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 19, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/doug-mastriano-islam-global-warming-2018-governor-pennsylvania-20220819.html; William Bender, “In a rare rebuke, two retired War College professors say Doug Mastriano is unfit to be governor,” Philadelphia Inquirer, October 16, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/news/doug-mastriano-war-college-biddle-coplen-alvin-york-20221016.html; William Bender and Jonathan Tamari, “As campaign struggles, Doug Mastriano plans ‘40 days of fasting and prayer,’” Philadelphia Inquirer, September 28, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/news/doug-mastriano-fasting-prayer-campaign-rally-struggling-20220928.html; Chris Brennan, “‘Mastriano is unacceptable’: A group of Pennsylvania Republicans is organizing to support Shapiro,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 6, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/josh-shapiro-doug-mastriano-governor-republicans-endorsements-20220706.html; Chris Brennan, “Doug Mastriano wore a Confederate Army uniform in an Army War College faculty photo,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 26, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/pennsylvania/doug-mastriano-confederate-uniform-photo-army-war-college-20220826.html; Chris Brennan, “Doug Mastriano will flirt again with the QAnon crowd as another election approaches,” Philadelphia Inquirer, October 21, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/clout/doug-mastriano-josh-shapiro-governor-election-mike-flynn-rudy-giuliani-20221021.html; Stephen Caruso and Ethan Edward Coston, “How Doug Mastriano built a grassroots movement in Pa. on election denial, Christianity, and Facebook,” Spotlight PA, May 23, 2022, https://www.spotlightpa.org/news/2022/05/doug-mastriano-pa-governor-pennsylvania-shapiro/; Philissa Cramer, “Republican Jews call on Doug Mastriano, GOP candidate for PA governor, to stop using Gab,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, July 22, 2022, https://www.jta.org/2022/07/22/politics/republican-jews-call-on-doug-mastriano-gop-candidate-for-pa-governor-to-stop-using-gab; Ron Kampeas, “Critics compare salutes at Trump and Mastriano rallies to Nazi ‘Sieg Heil,’” Times of Israel, September 20, 2022, https://www.timesofisrael.com/critics-compare-salutes-at-trump-mastriano-rallies-to-nazi-sieg-heil/; Dana Milbank, “And on the eighth day, God said: Let Mastriano win Pennsylvania,” Washington Post, September 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/09/doug-mastriano-prophet-julie-green/; Tina Nguyen, “Doug Mastriano’s Snowflake Strategy,” Puck News, September 14, 2022, https://puck.news/doug-mastrianos-snowflake-strategy/; Greg Sargent, “Say it clearly: Republicans just nominated a pro-Trump insurrectionist,” Washington Post, May 18, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/05/18/doug-mastriano-insurrectionist/; Andrew Seidman, “A top GOP candidate for governor campaigned at an event promoting QAnon and conspiracy theories about 9/11,” Philadelphia Inquirer, April 27, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/doug-mastriano-teddy-daniels-qanon-conference-gop-candidates-20220427.html
  89. [89]David Benfell, “More questions than answers as Donald Trump flags come down,” Not Housebroken, December 1, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/28/more-questions-than-answers-as-donald-trump-flags-come-down/
  90. [90]Kris Maher, “Democrat Josh Shapiro Wins Pennsylvania Governor Race Over Doug Mastriano,” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/election-midterms-2022/card/democrat-josh-shapiro-wins-pennsylvania-governor-race-over-doug-mastriano-rdDSLqwHlckU7Q5yZYF2
  91. [91]Rich Cholodofsky, “Lawsuits request hand recounts of votes for governor, senator,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 18, 2022, https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/lawsuits-request-hand-recounts-of-votes-for-governor-senator/; Jonathan Lai, Jeremy Roebuck, and Ryan W. Briggs, “Doug Mastriano supporters are flooding Pa. courts with baseless recount petitions in the governor’s race,” Philadelphia Inquirer, November 23, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/doug-mastriano-pa-governor-election-results-recount-petitions-20221123.html
  92. [92]Natalie Andrews, Siobhan Hughes, and Lindsay Wise, “Frustrated Republicans Try to Explain Lack of Midterm ‘Red Wave,’” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/frustrated-republicans-try-to-explain-lack-of-midterm-red-wave-11668036382; Isaac Arnsdorf and Josh Dawsey, “One likely 2024 GOP contender triumphed on election night. It wasn’t Donald Trump,” Washington Post, November 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/09/desantis-trump-2024-presidential-election/; Dan Balz, “The vaunted red wave never hit the shore in midterm elections,” Washington Post, November 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/08/midterms-dissatisfied-voters-render-judgments-biden-republicans/; Jonathan Freedland, “The winner of the midterms is not yet clear – but the loser is Donald Trump,” Guardian, November 9, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/nov/09/the-winner-of-the-midterms-is-not-yet-clear-but-the-loser-is-donald-trump; Amy Gardner, Reis Thebault, and Robert Klemko, “Election deniers lose races for key state offices in every 2020 battleground,” Washington Post, November 13, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2022/11/13/election-deniers-defeated-state-races/; Liz Goodwin, “A red wave of criticism crashes into Donald Trump after midterm losses,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/trump-criticism-midterms-republicans/; David Lauter, “The midterm’s big loser: Trump suffers multiple defeats,” Los Angeles Times, November 9, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/politics/newsletter/2022-11-09/the-midterms-big-loser-trump-suffers-multiple-defeats-essential-politics; Tina Nguyen, “Has Trump Already Lost ’24?” Puck News, November 30, 2022, https://puck.news/has-trump-already-lost-24/; Greg Sargent, “Republicans want Trump to take the blame. Good luck with that,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/11/11/trump-midterm-elections-gop-abortion-rights-2024/; Marianna Sotomayor et al., “Congressional Republicans panic as they watch their lead dwindle,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/senate-republicans-mcconnell-midterms/; Brian Slodysko, “Election takeaways: No sweep for the Republicans after all,” Associated Press, November 9, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/2022-midterm-elections-takeaways-9381d3aaff26d19da95506e045fcd6e1; Jonathan Tamari and William Bender, “‘It’s time for him to retire’: Some Pa. Republicans want to push Trump aside after their election losses,” Philadelphia Inquirer, November 10, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/pa-republicans-blame-trump-2022-losses-20221110.html; Chris Walker, “Trump Is Blaming Everyone But Himself for Midterm Losses — Including His Wife,” Truthout, November 10, 2022, https://truthout.org/articles/trump-is-blaming-everyone-but-himself-for-midterm-losses-including-his-wife/
  93. [93]Kristen Holmes, “Trump expresses support for Capitol rioters as he continues to embrace extremist groups,” CNN, December 2, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/02/politics/donald-trump-january-6-rioters-support/index.html
  94. [94]David Benfell, “More questions than answers as Donald Trump flags come down,” Not Housebroken, December 1, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/28/more-questions-than-answers-as-donald-trump-flags-come-down/

22 thoughts on “More questions than answers as Donald Trump flags come down

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.