Josh Hawley Still Polling At Nothing Percent In GOP Primary Matchup Against Trump
Donald Trump still commands a stranglehold on the GOP crime organization, but some Republican primary voters would prefer a less openly deranged option. And it's not Missouri's junior senator and part-time seditionist Josh Hawley! No, everyone thinks he sucks.
Former Ambassador John Bolton's Super PAC surveyed voters with a slightly leading question about the 2024 primary: "Since former President Trump's popularity has dropped with voters since the 2020 election, would you agree or disagree that a new Republican candidate – a fresh face – would be a stronger candidate to defeat Joe Biden in 2024?"
The question isn't wrong: Trump's approval has dropped steadily since he left office and spent all his time ranting about the election he clearly lost. He enjoyed just 32 percent support among all adults in an NBC News poll from April. A recent poll from Iowa, a state he won by eight points last year, showed that 49 percent of voters have an unfavorable view of him (40 percent of that is “very unfavorable"). As exiled Republican Liz Cheney tried to tell the cult members in her party, Trump isn't popular.
The Bolton PAC's poll reveals that 36 percent of GOP primary voters think Trump is the stronger 2024 candidate, but 52 percent (a majority for those doing math at home) think a “fresh face" — someone who hasn't already lost to Biden even when they had the advantage of incumbency — might have a better shot. Trump's refusal to accept defeat while claiming the entire electoral system is “rigged" doesn't exactly inspire confidence.
You can almost detect a celebratory tone from the Bolton PAC's statement about the poll:
That is a major shift since our first national poll taken in April where 50% of primary voters said Trump would be the strongest candidate to defeat Biden while 36% said another candidate would be stronger. That's a shift of 17 points away from Trump and 16 points to a "fresh face" – a 33-point swing.
Yes, what GOP voters want — no, demand! — is a "fresh face," one that doesn't bear the shameful evidence of a journey up Trump's ass. Who is the new champion of whatever it is the GOP claims to believe?
No, it's not Rep. Adam Kinzinger or some other anti-coup Republican. The Bolton PAC still shows Trump leading a hypothetical Republican primary with 45 percent of the vote. Ron DeSantis is a distant third with 13 percent. Former Vice President Mike Pence is second with 6.3 percent. That's almost impressive considering that MAGA considers him a traitor and everyone else just think he's a spineless weasel.
Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Nikki Haley are all under five percent support, while South Dakota's COVID-enabling Governor Kristi Noem has roughly one percent support. Maybe Twitter trolling isn't the best way to distinguish yourself from the one-term loser.
But they're all resonating with voters more than creepy-faced creep Josh Hawley, who polled at exactly zero. It's so hilarious we need to share this image while laughing derisively at him.
Even South Carolina Senator Tim Scott is ahead of Hawley, because it means slightly more when Scott claims racism doesn't exist unless Democrats are responsible. Unlike that Judas Pence, Hawley spat on the Constitution and this is the thanks he gets? Yep, because that is exactly what this craven shit heel deserves.
Those of us with short-term memories might recall how, for the longest time during the 2016 GOP primary, the majority of voters preferred someone other than Trump but couldn't settle on a specific charmless asshole. So we wound up with Trump. And Republicans at least tried campaigning against him instead of traveling to his tacky Florida resort and kissing his ring.
History could tragically repeat itself, but on the upside ... Josh Hawley is polling at ZERO percent. That's at least something we can all enjoy.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."