Things are going from bad to worse for former President Trump. And last week he didn’t do her any favors.
A major poll showed Trump trailing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) by a wide margin in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup with perhaps his most formidable potential top opponent.
And a self-described “major announcement” by Trump drew attention after it was revealed to be a new way for the president to make money by selling digital trading cards bearing his likeness.
Things are unlikely to improve for Trump in the coming days, as the House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot will release its final report and announce criminal references targeting Trump and his allies.
Two separate polls showed DeSantis beating Trump in head-to-head scenarios for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
A USA Today-Suffolk University poll released Tuesday found that 56 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters prefer DeSantis, while just 33 percent would support Trump. On Wednesday, a Wall Street Journal poll found DeSantis leading Trump among likely Republican voters, 52 percent to 38 percent.
While Trump and DeSantis are unlikely to be the only two candidates for voters to choose from, polls still showed concrete evidence of the former president’s possible loss of control over the Republican Party in the weeks since he announced his third campaign for the House. White.
Not as politically damaging, but perhaps just as worrisome to some of Trump’s allies, was the former president’s unveiling of a line of digital trading cards bearing his likeness after promising a “major announcement.”
Trump allies have been frustrated by the lack of activity around the former president’s 2024 campaign since he officially announced his candidacy in mid-November. There was some hope that the “main announcement” would be related to campaign staff or events in early voting states.
Instead, it was a business venture for the former president, and one in which the money would go to Trump personally, not his campaign. The 45,000 cards sold out at $99 each in less than 24 hours.
“Whoever is advising this is a good idea, they should be fired. This is NOT 2016,” Robby Starbuck, a Trump-aligned commentator who ran briefly for a House seat in Tennessee,. “We are in an economic crisis, fighting total cultural degradation, fighting to save our country, and facing an enemy who wants to control our lives. People want to watch fights right now, not NFT cards.”
Steve Bannon, who served as Trump’s chief strategist in his 2016 campaign and in the White House, expressed exasperation over trading cards during his radio show Thursday.
“I can’t do this anymore,” Bannon said after a video was played promoting the cards, which features Trump as an astronaut, golfer and superhero, among other images.
“He’s one of the best presidents ever, but I have to tell you, whatever the business partner, anybody on the communications team, anybody at Mar-a-Lago, and I love the people there, but we’re 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 “important announcements,” including a prisoner swap to free WNBA star Brittney Griner, the signing of legislation to protect marriage between people of the same sex and the fall in gasoline prices. .
Trump’s rough week also contrasted with some of the Republicans he may be campaigning against for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination.
DeSantis, who has become the preferred alternative to Trump among many conservative voters and commentators, signed legislation Thursday that reduces highway tolls for more than 1 million Florida commuters.
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), who also received some buzz as a possible 2024 candidate, on Thursday released his 2023 budget proposal that included a suggested tax cut that he said would save Virginians more of $700 million per year.
The successes could keep coming for Trump in the coming days.
The House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 riots at the Capitol will hold its final event Monday, during which it will release its list of criminal references and vote to release its final report two days later.
Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said the panel has not finalized the references, but the panel has repeatedly indicated that it believes Trump violated the law in his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Trump, for his part, seems ready to fight.
“How can the January 6th selection committee make criminal references when they have not spoken to or studied the 2020 election riggers, the troops Pelosi did not bring in, or now, the voter fraud decisively revealed by Twitter? ” Trump posted in all caps on Truth Social. “These are the real criminals!!!”