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John Bolton Played Himself

One of the worst reactionaries in recent memory thinks a poll proved him right about Trump. Wrong!

Gage Skidmore

Former national security adviser John Bolton, one of the most evil people in America, reportedly commissioned a poll to prove that the Republican Party “had not become a cult of personality” centered around his old boss, Donald Trump. He promptly owned himself.

From Politico:

The poll, released on Tuesday morning, showed Trump’s “very favorable” numbers among Republican voters dropped 19 points since a separate poll from a different pollster taken in October 2020. It also showed that 56 percent of self-identified Republican primary voters would support a candidate other than Trump in the 2024 primary.

In other words: 44 percent of self-identified Republican primary voters said, three months after the former Republican president left office because he lost the election and afterwards got impeached for the second time, that they would give this guy another shot. And while Trump’s “very favorable” ratings might have dipped, they didn’t really move much overall. Also from Politico:

As with much polling data, there was nuance to Bolton’s numbers. While Trump’s “very favorable” rating plummeted with Republicans compared to the October 2020 New York Times/Siena College Research Institute poll, his “somewhat favorable” rating went up by 12 points. Combined, his total favorable rating dipped from 92 percent to 85 percent.

Wow: a truly stammering drop from “incredibly popular” to merely “very, very, very popular.”

Bolton also set out to show that Trump’s support was soft, in that Republicans who thought Trump was “somewhat favorable” were three percent more likely to vote against a candidate opposed in a primary as opposed to “very favorable” Trump supporters, who would be 22 percent more likely. But we don’t really need a poll to gauge Trump’s influence on Republican primaries; in a year where his approval rating remained in the tank for much of the year, Trump had a nearly perfect record in primary endorsements last year.

Bolton worked for this guy, so unlike George W. Bush who has been painting dogs and mostly ignoring the world around him for the past decade, he knows better. At this point arguing that neoconservatives can wrestle the GOP away from Trump and Trumpism and overt racism—and put it back on the noble path of endless war and bloodshed and suffering and less overt but no less destructive racism—requires a complete suspension of disbelief.

The GOP is Trump’s party for the foreseeable, regardless of whether he runs in 2024 or not. Kevin McCarthy and House Republican leaders get it. Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Rick Scott, and all of the GOP’s other potential 2024 contenders get it. The fact that John Bolton still doesn’t get it says more about his own understanding of politics than anyone else’s.

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