GOP Pollster: If Trump Announces Pre-Midterm, Republicans Lose Congress

As we have consistently reported, Trump has already done immense damage to Mitch McConnell’s chances of being the majority leader in the all-important United States Senate 2022-24 term. Endorsing incredibly risky candidates like J.D. Evans in Ohio, Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, Blake McMasters in Arizona, and, worst of all, Herschel Walker in Georgia may cost Republicans four winnable seats. Now, though, Trump is putting the Senate and House at risk by possibly announcing his candidacy for president prior to the 2022 election. If Trump made the stunning announcement, a 2022 race that was about gas prices, inflation, and the border is now about Trump, again, and all the baggage he brings with him, including the need to repeat that he won in a landslide in 2020.

Republican pollster extraordinaire Frank Luntz laughably “warned” Republicans that they better not allow Trump to announce prior to 2022 because he could cost them the Congress (He may have already cost them the Senate). Republicans have never been able to tell Trump what to do before, and there is no reason to believe that they can now. Still, Luntz appeared on Morning Joe, where he spoke to Jonathan Lemire about the dynamic (Mika and Joe were gone due to the death of Mika’s mother over the weekend).

We are starting to see Trump drop below the critical 50 percent mark in terms of who Republicans want to see as their nominee in 2024 and the constant, consistent rise of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis,

What matters is New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Iowa for the Republicans. Ron DeSantis is rising… [Trump’s] endorsement still matters as we saw in the Maryland governor’s race, but when they’re looking forward rather than looking back, more and more Republicans are saying, ‘Enough. I don’t want to focus on the past, I want to focus on the future. I don’t want to focus on Donald Trump and an election that is now two years old

“… If he [Trump] does announce, he could actually cost the Republicans the House as well as the Senate. If the election is about the economy, Republicans win both. If the election is about Donald Trump, Republicans lose both.

Of course, the ultimate question is whether Trump will or won’t announce prior to 2022, and Luntz believes it is more likely than not that Trump will announce in 2022 than 2023, but Luntz didn’t say whether he meant “before the first week of November” in 2022, though one can imply it in context.

Luntz took his inner-GOP out for a ride by saying that the Republicans win the Senate if Trump stays out, again – the above four are going to be a nightmare for the Republican party, and one doesn’t just punt away what would’ve been four very competitive states. But the prediction that the Republicans lose the House if Trump announces is real, and it may give McCarthy some power to push back at Trump. IF Trump wants to be president in 2024 (and some of us aren’t convinced he actually does), he needs a Republican House at a minimum.

One doesn’t need to be a DC insider or Trump’s campaign manager to understand that the timing of Trump’s decision will almost surely be directly correlated with the likelihood of being criminally charged for January 6th or even by the grand jury investigating Trump’s top-secret files in Mar-a-Lago (Which seems awfully straightforward as a crime). If one wanted to be very cynical, one would want Democratic-leaning prosecutors in DOJ to put serious pressure on Trump with search warrants and arrests of people who may “snitch” (Mark Meadows), in order to pressure Trump into an early announcement.

Alas, we and they – at the DOJ, are Democrats, often to our detriment, and the Justice Department will not intentionally fan the flames to scare Trump into announcing. The process will be done by the book at DOJ and, if anything, miss on the side of being too lenient. After all, no member of the Trump administration has been arrested yet. Even Matt Gaetz is still walking around acting like a big shot.

But the evidence is mounting, and Trump knows it. Trump wants the protection that he believes is afforded a “presidential candidate,” who can scream that they’re charging him because they cannot beat him. One more big revelation and the announcement may happen in weeks, keeping Congress blue, according to GOP pollster Frank Luntz.