First, let me say that despite a few undeniably good things that he did, I will be very happy to see the end of Donald J Trump.
Second, I have suggested, about a year ago, that former Ambassador and Governor Nikki Haley is running hard to be the Republican candidate for President in 2024. My guess, given President-elect Biden’s age, is that Kamala Harris might be the natural choice for the Democrats and the race might be between two accomplished women who also happen to be “people of colour.”
But, can and will Donald J Trump insert himself into the race?
Even if, as the voting totals to date suggest, there is no route to victory for President Trump in 2020, there is a path to 2024 and it leads through the state of Georgia.
In this election the voters of Georgia were unable to give 50% of the vote to any of Senator David Perdue, a Republican or Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff in one senate race, or in a special election between Senator Kelly Loeffler who was appointed to the seat just this year (replacing Senator Johnny Isakson who resigned for health reasons) and Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock …
… will, therefore, be a run-off election in January for two Senate seats because Georgia, like France, has a two-round-run-off system which ensures that those elected to some high offices secured 50%+1 of the popular. That means that, in a multi-party system (such as Canada has) when three or four or five or more candidates split the vote then (in most cases) there is a second round of voting a week or a month or more later with only the top two candidates on the ballot. The Georgia run-off election will be held on January 5th.
Many pundits say this will be the most expensive state election campaign in history because it is very likely that the control of the US Senate will be decided in Georgia.
The Democrats will control the White House and the US House of Representatives if, and it’s a big IF, they can win both of Georgia’s Senate seats in January then they will, effectively, control the Senate, too, because Vice-President-elect Harris casts the deciding vote when the Senate splits 50:50.
Now, the Trump Effect, and it’s all about IFs:
- If President Trump, having conceded defeat in the Presidential elections, decides, as still de facto leader of the Republican Party, to campaign hard in Georgia and helps to win both Senate seats then he will be a very serious contender, perhaps even a shoo-in, if he wishes, for the 2024 nomination; but
- If he campaigns and the Democrats take both seats then he is, for all intents and purposes, ‘dead meat;’ but
- If he sits out the Georgia campaign, if he sits on the White House and sulks or even resigns his office before January then he leaves a HUGE opportunity for others, like Nikki Haley or, perhaps, Tucker Carlson, Dan Crenshaw, Ted Cruz Marco Rubio or Ivanka Trump, all of whom seem to have at least some decent level of support, to campaign and, IF they are successful, to be a Republican superstar.
My guess, and that’s all it is, is that the Georgia vote might favour the Republicans because the state seems, to me, to be very evenly split, and having voted, very narrowly, for President-elect Biden the people might decide that they do not want to give him complete control of all of the legislative branch (i.e. de facto Democratic majorities in both the Senate and in the House of Representatives). Whoever campaigns in Georgia will, IF I am correct, have a major advantage in the race to be the Republican candidate in 2024.
My personal opinion remains that Ambassador Haley is the best choice for the Republicans and, I think, for America but a lot of water is going to pass under a lot of bridges between now and the summer of 2024.