Who is the most prominent member of Donald Trump’s party to have ruled out supporting him in the general election next year?
I put that question to the Dispatch Slack channel this morning because I couldn’t come up with a compelling answer. There’s Chris Christie and, of course, good ol’ Mitt Romney. But if by “prominent” we mean “popular with Republican voters” then neither qualifies. To put it mildly.
One colleague suggested George W. Bush, who declined to support Trump in 2020 and doubtless will do so again. But Dubya fails the same test of “prominence.” He hasn’t wielded influence over the GOP base in 15 years.
Another colleague proposed Bill Barr, who amassed populist cred as a loyal servant of the former president until, like Mike Pence, he squandered it by refusing to abet the “rigged election” nonsense. Barr has of late become an official Enemy of the People after he criticized Trump’s misconduct with classified material. He’s probably still marginally better liked by MAGA voters than Christie or Romney, but … boy, that’s a low bar.