Things are going from bad to worse with former President Trump. And last week didn’t do him any good.
A major poll showed Trump trailing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) by a wide margin in a hypothetical head-to-head with arguably his most formidable would-be primary opponent.
And a self-described “major announcement” by Trump attracted attention after it was revealed to be a new way for the president to make money by selling digital trading cards with his likeness.
The landscape is unlikely to get any better for Trump in the coming days, as the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot will release its final report and announce criminal references to Trump and his allies.
Two separate polls showed DeSantis ahead of Trump in head-to-head scenarios for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
A USA Today-Suffolk University poll released Tuesday found that 56 percent of Republican and Republican voters favor DeSantis, while only 33 percent would support Trump. On Wednesday, a Wall Street Journal poll showed DeSantis Trump leading among likely Republican voters by 52 percent to 38 percent.
While Trump and DeSantis are unlikely to be the only two candidates for voters to choose from, the polls showed concrete evidence that the former president may have been losing his grip on the GOP in the weeks since announcing his third White House campaign.
Not as politically damaging, but perhaps just as concerning to some of Trump’s allies, was the former president’s unveiling of a series of digital trading cards bearing his likeness after promising a “major announcement.”
Trump allies have been frustrated by a lack of activity surrounding the former president’s 2024 campaign since he officially announced his candidacy in mid-November. There was some hope that the “major announcement” would be related to campaign personnel or events in states with early elections.
Instead, it was a commercial venture for the former president — and one where the money would personally go to Trump, not his campaign. The 45,000 tickets sold out in less than 24 hours at $99 each.
“Whoever advises this sort of thing is a good idea should be fired. This is NOT 2016,” Robby Starbuck, a Trump-oriented commentator who briefly ran for a House seat in Tennessee, tweeted in response to the announcement. “We are in an economic crisis, fighting total cultural degradation, fighting to save our country and facing an enemy that wants to control our lives. People now want to see combat, not NFT maps.
Stephen Bannon, who served as chief strategist for Trump during his 2016 campaign and in the White House, appeared annoyed by the trading cards during his Thursday radio show.
“I can’t do this anymore,” Bannon said after playing a video promoting the cards, which include Trump as an astronaut, golfer and superhero.
“He’s one of the greatest presidents in history, but I have to tell you, whatever business partner, anybody on the communications team, anybody at Mar-a-Lago, and I love the people down there, but we are at war. They should be fired today,” Bannon said.
The announcement even drew derision from President Biden, who took the opportunity to tweet some of his own “major announcements,” including a prisoner swap to free WNBA star Brittney Griner, the signing of same-sex marriage protection legislation and falling gas prices. .
Trump’s rough week also contrasted sharply with some of the Republicans he may be campaigning against for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination.
DeSantis, who has emerged as the preferred alternative to Trump among many voters and conservative commentators, signed legislation Thursday to lower tolls for more than 1 million Florida commuters.
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (R), who has also been rumored as a possible 2024 candidate, released his proposed 2023 budget on Thursday, which includes a proposed income tax cut that he says could save Virginians more than $700 million a year. would save.
The hits may keep coming for Trump in the days to come.
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot will hold its closing event Monday, during which it will publicly release its list of criminal references and vote to publish its final report two days later.
Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said the panel has not yet finalized the referrals, but it has repeatedly indicated that it believes Trump broke the law in his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Trump, for his part, seems ready to fight.
“How can the Jan. 6 unselected committees make criminal referrals if they have not spoken about, or studied, those who rigged the 2020 election, the troops not brought in by Pelosi, or now the election fraud that has finally been exposed? by Twitter?” Trump posted in all caps on Truth Social. “These are the real criminals!!!”