Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Sununu Says He Would Vote for Donald Trump in 2024

Gov. Chris Sununu (R-NH) is sometimes held out as the kind of fellow who might just lead the Republican Party out of the Trump Desert, and back to sanity. After all, he's moderate (by modern Republican standards), he has some crossover appeal, and he has direct ties to the 1980s version of the GOP. Oh, and he has lambasted Donald Trump and called him "fu**ing crazy."

Anyone who is thinking that should get to work looking elsewhere. Sununu sat for an interview recently and was asked what he would do if the presidential ballot came down to Joe Biden and Donald Trump. While the Governor said there's still a chance Trump won't be the GOP standard-bearer, he also said that he'd most certainly vote for Trump ahead of Biden, explaining simply that "I'm a Republican."

Truth be told, it's a little bit interesting that yet another Republican white knight (red knight?) has proven to be a mirage, with no particular courage of their convictions. More interesting, and the reason we ran with this story, is the unbelievable power of that little (R), or that little (D). It's hardly the first time we've noted this, but while the (R) and the (D) used to be reasonably accurate indicators of policy positions, it was also the case that if a candidate veered too far away from mainstream (R) ideas (like, say, Barry Goldwater) or too far away from mainstream (D) ideas (like, say, George McGovern), then some sizable chunk of their voters could be counted on to cross the aisle. These days, on the other hand, it really doesn't matter if the (R) is really an (R), or if the (D) is really a (D); all that matters is that the letter is there.

The Trumpy voters are particularly enmeshed in this dynamic. Earlier this week, Slate's Ben Jacobs had a piece in which he observed that Trump followers aren't really partisans anymore, they are fans. The Dallas Cowboys could move to Houston, or to London, or to the moon and they would still have tens of millions of rabid fans, unavailable to any other team. And similarly, Donald Trump could become a Democrat, or an independent, or a resident of FPC Pensacola, and he'd still have tens of millions of rabid fans, unavailable to any other politician.

We wish we had some wisdom as to what might break this fever of hyper-loyalty, but we really don't have any. The exit of Donald Trump from the political stage, whenever it might happen, will probably help mix things up some. But beyond that, who knows what might help break down the partisan divide that has become a partisan canyon. (Z)

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