Donald Trump

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

“Donald Trump is set to become the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.”

A sentence written by journalists in 2016 still holds true in 2024.

Trump’s only Republican rival with any chance of success, Nikki Haley, is now pinning her hopes on South Carolina. Despite once being Governor of the Palmetto State, Haley still trails the former president by some 30 percentage points. Barring a major turnaround, Trump is all-but certain to be GOP presidential nominee for November’s election.

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It’s easy to be forgiven for thinking that Trumpism will dominate the Republican Party for decades to come. After all, many within the party still praise Reaganomics, even though the former president’s tenure ended 35 years ago.

However, Trumpism is different – based on personality as much as policy – and it will one day run its course.

Why Is Trump Still The Favorite?

Trump’s popularity cannot be pinned down to a specific reason. For some Americans, his economic policies make them feel for more prosperous; his immigration policies make them feel safer; his anti-Washington D.C. agenda relates with those who have ever questioned the legitimacy of federal government.

But Trump remains in the political picture partly in thanks to President Joe Biden. He’s an easy target for the former president who focuses on personality more than policy, and his anti-Biden rhetoric – not helped by the President’s age – resonates with conservatives. There’s also the hard-to-ignore fact that Trump secured the second-most votes in electoral history in 2020 with 74,223,975; unfortunately for the Republican, Biden broke Barack Obama’s then-record by an even greater margin.

Trumpism Beyond 2024

It’s hard to imagine a world where Trumpism survives if the Republican loses at the second successive attempt on November 5, 2024. If he wins, then it’s a different matter.

Nevertheless, Trump will be term-limited come 2028, and two new candidates will enter the fray. As with 2020, Democrats will undoubtedly portray themselves as the option for change, while Republicans will look to build on the success of the previous four years.

Who the Republican nominee by that point could be remains a mystery. However, an assessment of the current candidates may reveal the reason for Trumpism’s demise.

Take Vivek Ramaswamy, for example. The charismatic businessman resembles the former president in many ways beyond personality, with strikingly similar views on policy as well as background. So similar are Ramaswamy and Trump that the former suffered on differentiating himself from the likely nominee throughout his campaign.

Vivek’s supporters will argue that a decreasing field boosted Haley’s campaign as candidates withdrew. However, the former South Carolina Gov. held a lead over the businessman long before Republican hopefuls dropped out left, right and center.

Ultimately, Trump’s legacy will –if it hasn’t already – have a long-lasting impact on U.S. politics. The lines between left and right were shattered with Trump’s rise to political prominence, with voters now divided on whether they trust the government, rather than how it should be run.

But the fall of those who echo his policies reveals the major problem: you simply cannot have Trumpism without Trump.