Former President Donald Trump may have scraped his way through securing the Republican nomination for the 2024 general election before he is convicted, according to his biographer Maggie Haberman.
What Happened: The Georgia election subversion case and the federal trial on election interference are both scheduled to start March 4, 2024, and by that time, five states will likely have held nominating contests, said Haberman in a co-authored article in New York Times.
Super Tuesday, when 15 states including the delegate-rich California and Texas are scheduled to hold votes, falls on March 5, and the results will determine if any of the Trump challengers have the wherewithal to emerge as a viable alternative, it added.
The “winner-take-all” primaries will likely follow in Florida and Ohio two weeks later. The candidate getting the highest votes will get all the delegates in these states instead of the delegates being split in proportion to the votes they received.
By this time, Trump’s federal trial will unlikely end, the authors said in the report.
“A Trump-dominated clash that will define not only the course of the 2024 presidential primary but potentially the future direction of the party in an eventual post-Trump era,” they said.
Advantage Trump? Although Trump’s team has complained about the March 4 trial start date on the grounds that it will interfere with Super Tuesday, the schedule will suit him well for campaigning for primaries in the subsequent weeks, the report said.
The authors noted that about 60% of the delegates would be awarded from contests after Super Tuesday.
Prosecutors in the Trump election case estimate that they will need four to six weeks to present the case after the initial formalities such as jury selection. The defense lawyers will then have the opportunity to call additional witnesses.
“That timeline also means it is likely that a majority of the delegates will have been awarded before a jury determines Mr. Trump’s fate,” the report said.
If Trump has a dominant position throughout the primaries and then a jury determines that he is a convicted felon, his opponents have one last opportunity to use that to block his nomination, it said.
“That possibility would almost certainly lead to a schism between Trump loyalists and what used to be called the party’s establishment, an unpleasant reality in which defeating Mr. Trump could doom Republicans to a long cycle of electoral defeats.”
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