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Donald Trump Will Soon Get Some Good News

Donald Trump has had so much bad news lately (legal issues, Ron DeSantis, getting more aggressive, etc.) that he is probably in a foul mood. But yesterday Politico had a story Tim that should warm the cockles of his heart (if he has a heart and it has cockles). The report is that Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) is about to jump into the race to be the GOP presidential nominee. His preparations are well underway. He has been talking to donors, has retreats planned, and will soon go to Iowa and New Hampshire. Yup, Tim is almost certainly in. Isn't America wonderful? Even people with a chance less than 0.00000001% can run for president! What a great country!

Trump probably doesn't read Politico, but no doubt some of his staffers do and they probably told him the good news. Also no doubt his first reaction was: "It's 2016 all over again!!!" In that year, there were so many candidates that they didn't all fit on the stage and the debate organizers had to have a debate for the grown-ups and a debate for the kiddies. The result of such a fragmented field is that Trump was able to win most of the primaries with a plurality of the votes, not a majority. On Super Tuesday 2016, for example, he won Alabama (43% of the vote), Arkansas (33%), Georgia (39%), Massachusetts (49%), Tennessee (39%), Vermont (33%), and Virginia (35%). He didn't get a majority of the vote in any of these states, yet he racked up far and away the most delegates because Republican primaries tend to be winner-take-all (or at least winner-take-most). The only candidate who came close to him was Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who naturally won Texas and got 104 delegates. Without Texas, Cruz would have been down in the weeds.

So, from Trump's point of view, the more the merrier. Having half a dozen opponents who each get a few percent of the vote increases the chance that Trump ends up first and racks up all (or most of) the delegates. If you want to see the results of the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, here is the Wikipedia article with all the votes, delegate totals, etc.

Now let's look at this from Scott's point of view. It is known that every morning 100 senators look in the bathroom mirror and see a future president (well, OK, 99 since Mazie Hirono, D-HI, is not eligible). Scott did that and said: "Why not me?" The mirror didn't answer, so we will:

In short, we don't get it. Nikki Haley also has approximately zero chance of getting the Republican nomination for president, but if she does well, she is a plausible veep on a ticket headed by DeSantis. Scott is not really a plausible veep on anybody's ticket. What does he bring? A small state that always votes for Republicans? Black voters? Hardly, since the other team also has a Black veep, and since even Black South Carolinians don't vote for him.

So why is he running? Maybe to raise his profile for some other race? It is possible he wants to run for governor some day, but we don't see how a failed race for president will help there. As a senator, he has a big megaphone and can generate plenty of publicity by introducing important bills and then going to TV to pitch them. Delusions of grandeur? Maybe. Is he bored with his day job and needs some excitement? Could be. He'll get lots and lots of media attention for a couple of weeks until the media realize that he is going nowhere and move on. Other than that, it seems completely pointless to us. Note that we are not saying Scott will get zero votes. There are a small number of Black Republicans and they might vote for him just to show everyone that they exist. However, they are pretty scarce in Iowa and New Hampshire. Of course, Scott could skip those two contests and focus on South Carolina, where he might even come in third with a bit of luck. But it is downhill from there.

All this said, we always like to be positive. So, to end on a positive note, we will say we think his chances of getting a major party presidential nomination are vastly higher than those of Marianne Williamson. (V)

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