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Trump's Message: I Still Run the GOP

Newser — John Johnson

Former President Trump will re-enter the political spotlight Sunday when he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference. What to expect? If a report at Axios is any indication, the speech will be a "show of force" that makes clear Trump is still running the show within the GOP and remains the Republican candidate to beat for 2024.

Details and related coverage:

  • One unnamed adviser sums up the theme for Mike Allen as, "I may not have Twitter or the Oval Office, but I'm still in charge." Trump will position himself as the presumptive 2024 nominee—though it's not clear whether he'll run—and as more powerful than ever.

Also expect lots of I-told-you-so about President Biden. And for now, "payback is his chief obsession," writes Allen, which will take the form of backing primary challenges to Republicans who turned against him.

  • Trump may have a point about his support.

A new USA Today poll finds that 46% of Trump voters would ditch the GOP to join a new party with him. Half think the GOP should be more loyal to Trump, even if that means losing more mainstream Republicans, compared with just 19% who think the party should be less loyal to Trump and embrace establishment Republicans.

  • At Hot Air, conservative Allahpundit takes note of other Trump surveys of late, including by Gallup, Rasmussen, and Suffolk.

"This makes three polls in less than a month establishing the same two key facts about the current Republican Party," writes the pundit. "One: There are many more Trumpers than there are anti-Trumpers. Two: There are enough anti-Trumpers to make life difficult for the GOP if things stay too Trumpy." In Allahpundit's view, 50% of the GOP is more loyal to Trump than the party, 30% back Trump but not enough to buck the party, and 20% want the GOP to head in a new direction.

  • At Red State, a post by Bonchie digests the recent Trump reports and issues a prediction: "Playing kingmaker may actually be Trump’s ultimate goal over the next four years. While I’d certainly not rule out a 2024 run for him, I think he enjoys the intra-party battle just as much."
  • Trump, meanwhile, continues to maintain a relatively low profile at Mar-a-Lago.

GOP Rep. Steve Scalise told ABC News on Sunday that he visited the former president recently, finding that he "was a lot more relaxed than his four years in the White House." And in a sign of the loyalty Trump still commands, Scalise refuse to explicitly acknowledge that the election wasn't stolen, when asked directly.

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