OPINION: Is Trump Running His Worst Campaign Ever?

Former President Donald Trump hinted at his 2024 re-election campaign just days before the midterms. I remember the news coming in on my phone. Like many of the younger, able-bodied, party faithful, I was out knocking on doors to ‘Get Out The Vote’ in critical and competitive districts. This is all volunteer work; I didn’t make a dime. The gear I carried with me included sunblock and a flashlight, because I often found myself still approaching doors in the early evening hours, after sundown. 


When the headline came in that Trump was flirting with a campaign announcement on the cusp of the midterm elections, my heart sank. It wasn’t because I had some anti-Trump mindset; I didn’t, and I still don’t. It was because I didn’t want to galvanize Democrat voters by calling them to a referendum on “Bad Orange Man.” In my mind, I just needed Trump to shut up for a few days, and felt at that moment it was the best thing he could do for the GOP. He wasn’t on the ballot, and we were plotting midterm pickups without the knee-jerking that comes with the contentious candidacy of Number 45. 

Like many Republican rank-and-file, I wasn’t too pleased when Trump unveiled his nickname for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, calling him “Ron DeSanctimonious,” days before his re-election bid for Governor. Even for Republicans that aren’t supporting DeSantis as a presidential candidate, a majority of them support him as Florida’s governor. Tarnishing a Republican governor ahead of the midterm election wasn’t universally well received, even by the MAGA loyalists. 

Worse, at a local meeting in the aftermath of the 2022 election, while we were still mulling over the results and calculating if Republicans would control the House, an untimely and rather unexciting Trump campaign announcement was streamed to party members. That night, we were told to stand and take a vow that we would be supporting the former president. It felt a bit like a social hostage situation, and the idea that we were supposed to be decided two years ahead of the election, and making pinky promises left me deflated. I stood, reluctantly, while saying, “I guess…”


The thing is, I’m likely to vote for Trump, and it wouldn’t be the first time. I know what I’m getting. I like his foreign policy, as far as his anti-war stance, and impressive diplomacy, given his personality quirks. It’s DeSantis who has something to prove to me. There are things I’m waiting to hear that would help me view him on a national and global stage, instead of my current perspective which is “America’s Governor.” Everyone calm down! Yes, I’m an undecided voter, heaven forbid.

But, I keep saying to myself, and even posting on social media: “I swear Trump wants me to vote for DeSantis.” I also keep saying that it doesn’t seem like anyone is competing for my vote, because it’s just a bunch of internet shaming on one side or the other. Am I required to vote for who has the best internet trolls, or am I supposed to cast a ballot based on which meme is the most disparaging? Pray tell.

And, perhaps Trump is running his worst campaign, ever. This seems hard to do, next to DeSantis’ Twitter Spaces kickoff where I was given a migraine but gathered no new information. True story. 

The Trump campaign leans heavily into attacking DeSantis, which is an early commitment to mud-slinging that many voters aren’t looking forward to. Can you see it now? The political attack mailers coming in quantities that overwhelm your mailbox? The incessant and oddly-timed text messages telling you that President Trump has selected you to donate and receive a special hat? Oh wait, or my personal favorite, that the President somehow took time out of his day to convey the message that he was disappointed in you for not responding or claiming your special offer. I wish I were making this crap up, but: if you know, you know. Is anyone excited to be bombarded? I’m not. 


On Tuesday, Team Trump posted their latest criticism of DeSantis, claiming that he voted in 2017 to confirm Christopher Wray as the Director of the FBI. Sick burn, except… DeSantis was a member of the House, and it’s the Senate that confirms appointments. There is no way that I just started my day by correcting a multi-hundred-million-dollar campaign about how Congress works, right? IS THIS REAL LIFE?

Not only this, but Wray was Trump’s appointment… that was the quality work that can be ascribed to Trump. Had Wray not been selected by the President, no member of the Senate could have cast a vote to confirm him. So, Team Trump, this isn’t the “own” you think it is, and you should probably not taunt people for voting for Trump’s nominations in the future. It wasn’t DeSantis’ job to pick an FBI Director, it was Trump’s.

Read More:

Speaker McCarthy and Oversight Chair Comer to Hold FBI Director Wray in Contempt Over Biden Bribe Docs

Trump Unleashes on Kayleigh McEnany Over Poll Numbers, Rep. Chip Roy Takes Note (Updated)


So, while my morning may have started with some elementary-level Schoolhouse Rock lesson on how the government works, I had been up late the prior night, due to some more Trump errors. As I completed the Kayleigh McEnany story linked above, it was my task to figure out what -the hell- the former President was even talking about. Trump suggested that the pollster McEnany cited had corrected their numbers, accusing the former White House Press Secretary of knowing the numbers had been updated when she told audiences of a DeSantis increase in Iowa support.

This is what I am doing, at 2 a.m Why? Because Trump said something he shouldn’t have, gave misleading information that wasn’t correct and therefore was impossible to verify. Who needs sleep when you can be on a goose-chase hunting down events that never occurred, internet sleuthing into Nowheresville? Thanks, man. 

I looked on the Trump campaign’s in-house pollster’s website, I scoured media pieces for this correction. I checked the polling group company president’s socials for the press release and the new, updated, correct numbers. In exasperation, I finally tagged the pollster company president to ask for clarity. Our RedState readers deserve the full picture, and it wasn’t being given at that time.


So, not only did I wake up to correct the idea that DeSantis could have voted for Wray in the House, but I also found the answer that had kept me up into the night. Oh, Trump was citing a different poll, and McEnany didn’t willfully report false numbers, and no pollster issued any corrections. So… “fake news,” from Trump, then?

It’s really hard to vow a vote for Trump in the primary when his words and the campaign’s rhetoric make my daily life (into the night) about correcting stupid things they said. I’m tired, I need more coffee because Trump “mean-tweeted” about McEnany making claims that weren’t even true. Yes, this campaign is the worst one, yet.


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