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US politics

Why Trump won’t run again

“Teflon Don”: a busted flush. Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty

Here’s a bold prediction, says Jeremy Stahl in Slate: Donald Trump won’t run for president in 2024. Not many pundits are willing to say that – out loud at least. We were so wildly wrong about his chances in 2016 that we’ve spent the past five years trying to make up for it. Whatever scandal befell him, we declared that “Teflon Don” would always survive. And that was true during his presidency: he did survive and his supporters stuck by him. But now I think we’re “overcompensating”.

Sure, Trump talks a lot about running again. But just look at the facts. He lost the 2020 election “decisively”, becoming only the fourth elected incumbent in more than a century to lose the presidency. His role in the January 6 insurrection led to him becoming “the first president in history to be impeached twice by the House of Representatives”. His support among Republicans is ebbing away, with likely rival Ron DeSantis currently out-polling him in New Hampshire and Florida. He is facing several civil and criminal investigations, the legal bills for which the Republican National Committee will stop paying if he enters the 2024 race. Rupert Murdoch’s influential newspapers have given up on him. GOP “megadonors” are looking elsewhere. Why, faced with all that, would Trump risk becoming a “two-time loser”? We should acknowledge the obvious: the former president is a busted flush.