(Feb. 2)  New poll results and new legal developments, among other factors, should make Donald Trump decide it is in his best interests not to run for president again, after all, in 2024.

First, the polls: Trump would never have been president if it weren’t for New Hampshire — where he saved his 2016 campaign by winning the primary after losing the Iowa caucuses — and Alabama, where multiple public rallies established him as a crowd sensation. Now, though, both places are inhospitable.

A week ago, a multicandidate poll of Republican voters in New Hampshire showed Trump trailing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, 42% to 30%. Worse, Trump actually falls to third place there, also behind current New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, when voters are asked for their second choice. In Alabama, meanwhile, which for four years was the Trumpiest of Trump states, a poll reported this week showed DeSantis ahead of Trump in a two-way contest, 50-31.

If Trump can’t win in either of those states, he probably can’t win anywhere. The question is, why would Trump want to give voters a chance to stamp him as an unexpurgated loser? Right now, by contrast, he can leave politics while still claiming he really won in 2020, with 25% of the public believing him.

’Tis far better merely to be debatably a loser than to prove it categorically.

Meanwhile, Trump continues to be beleaguered by court cases and investigations aplenty. In New York, he took the Fifth Amendment some 400 times in a deposition for a case accusing him of fraud. In another New York case, a grand jury two days ago was asked to consider criminal charges related to money he paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels. In Georgia, he apparently faces imminent criminal charges in an election subversion case. And, of course, a Department of Justice special counsel is investigating his willful refusal to turn over documents, including many dozens with classified markings, to the National Archives as required by law…. [The full column is here.]


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