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National View: Trump does have a path to the Republican nomination

From the column: "Who's going to try and block him? ... If Republicans think Trump can win, they will get behind him no matter how many insults he hurls. He's won the White House before, and that's something Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis can't claim."

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Despite the midterm election disaster and Democrats doing a victory dance, there still could be a path for Donald Trump to win the 2024 Republican nomination. He will face incredible obstacles and even a possible indictment, but Trump could turn those negatives into a plus and emerge once again as a national GOP threat.

Can all the negativity around Trump somehow help him win the nomination?

Recent polls continue to show Trump and President Joe Biden locked in a close battle in a 2024 matchup, so the former president starts essentially even.

If Biden won such a big mandate — as Democrats claim — in the 2022 midterms, then why is Trump still so close?

The polls also showed that 75% of American voters believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, which you'd think would have been ripe for a GOP takeover. If the polls are true, there's still a great amount of disenchantment in the nation. Yet Democrats and Biden somehow managed not to be blamed for that.

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And if Trump is such damaged goods, then why are Democrats even fearful of him running? You'd think they'd be egging Trump on to run. The fact is that any other politician who's suffered as many setbacks as Trump would have long ago abandoned any hopes of running for president — let alone winning. Even in mainstream elements of his own party, Trump is a pariah.

But who's going to try and block him? Sen. Mitt Romney? Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker? Baker and other Republicans — joined by Democrats — are now engaged in an effort to ostracize Trump as too "extremist" and an "election denier."

That was Baker's assessment in a CNN interview, that voters rejected Trump because he's at the "extreme" edge of the party. If you were lucky enough to catch the interview, it was like one cardboard cutout interviewing another piece of cardboard. Just too much charisma for network TV.

Baker, of course, would like other Republicans to be like him, essentially colluding — sorry, "collaborating" — with Democrats so they get what they want.

If Republicans think Trump can win, they will get behind him no matter how many insults he hurls. He's won the White House before, and that's something Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis can't claim.

But Trump is now going to be running as a "rogue" politician. That could have appeal for a lot of Republicans in 2024.

And those Democratic victory dances may turn out to be premature.

Joe Battenfeld is a political columnist and multimedia reporter for the Boston Herald.

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Joe Battenfeld

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