How the Ukraine war could affect Donald Trump’s hopes for 2024

Amid widespread condemnation of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Donald Trump interrupted a lonely voice in February when he called the Russian leader’s tactics “smart.”

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Just two days into the invasion, the former US President addressed Republican activists and donors at the Conservative Political Action Conference, arguing that while Putin’s unprovoked invasion was an “atrocity,” the White House was “stupid,” Joe Biden to let play. like a drum”.

During his own tenure in the Oval Office, “Trump made Putin a popular figure among a significant segment of Republican voters,” said David Leonhardt of the New York Times. A YouGov poll for Yahoo! News in January revealed that GOP voters were more positive overall on Putin than Biden, Kamala Harris or Nancy Pelosi.

But now, with Trump refusing to rule out a second White House inauguration in 2024, some analysts are predicting he could pay a heavy price for backing his former Russian counterpart.

Mixed messages

After Putin’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, Trump “sided with Russia” in the shadow conflict, said CNN reporter Marshall Cohen. During an interview with ABC News, Trump claimed that the people of Crimea “would rather be with Russia.”

He also has a “mixed record of arming Ukraine,” CNN’s Cohen continued. In 2019, the then US President held “almost 400 million

Weapons in “the stalled aid package” included surface-to-air Javelin missiles, which “have proven to be a crucial part of Ukraine’s surprisingly resilient defenses against Russian tanks,” Cohen wrote.

Ahead of Putin’s invasion earlier this year, “Trump praised Putin for recognizing Ukraine’s economic and strategic value to Russia,” reported Leonhardt of the New York Times. But more recently, Trump has “moved to a more mixed message,” arguing that the Russian president should “negotiate a peace deal” while still “praising” him.

Trump seems to have realized that the invasion at home “changed the situation” and “damaged Putin’s popularity in the US, even among Republicans,” Leonhardt said. Most GOP supporters “wish the Biden administration would take more aggressive action to help Ukraine.”

“Nevertheless, Trump’s impact on Putin’s popularity has not entirely disappeared: there is still a significant faction of Republican elites who feel an affinity for the Russian president,” he added.

Opinion among Trump’s constituency is “fragmented,” according to NBC News, about the war in Ukraine. In “talks with Trump voters,” the broadcaster reported, “the spectrum of Putin’s considerations went from giving a free hand to sending US troops on the one hand.”

All of this could help “explain” the “inconsistency” of the former president’s message if US-aligned “Western democracies have joined forces to condemn Putin.”

hope for re-election

Trump “will pay to praise the Russian president,” said Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington.

In an opinion piece for the Chatham House think tank, Kamarch argued that “rifts” were beginning to appear in Trump’s base even before the invasion, as it became increasingly clear “that an anti-Trump faction is forming within the Republican Party.”

And “as atrocities mount in Ukraine,” she wrote, “republicans are increasingly distancing themselves from Trump’s fondness for Putin.”

Those divisions have fueled speculation about how the war will affect Trump’s popularity and potential ambitions for another presidency.

Janan Ganesh, associate editor of the Financial Times, predicted that despite such tensions, it is not “the end” for the former president. Although “liberals are right to bring up his past flirtation with the Kremlin,” Trump’s critics “overestimate the damage this will do to his electoral capacity.”

Trump’s interventions have “always been a dog breakfast of contradictions,” Ganesh wrote, citing his “praise for tyrants but also a sense of macho competition with them.” And the war has also given Trump new “lines of attack” against Biden.

If the Ukraine crisis “lags on,” it “could be reframed less as a case of Biden’s safe touch than of American helplessness and Russian impunity.” Ganesh continued. In that case, “a country fed up with Biden, the cautious diplomat, will yearn for a leader who ‘could do anything.'”

“Counterfactuals are always guesswork,” political pundit Jonathan Chait wrote in New York Magazine. But “if Trump had secured a second term, Ukraine would be losing the war now.”

Kiev’s resistance depended on “a unified and forceful response from its Western allies,” including “moral solidarity, economic sanctions, information-sharing and a massive arms shipment.” With Trump in the Oval Office, “none of that would happen.”

But “Russia hawks within the Republican Party” have still “tried to paint Trump as the real Russia hawk”, turning his “obsessive attacks on NATO into evidence that he has been adept at trying to shut down the alliance all along.” strengthen,” added Chait.

YouGov polls for The Economist in February found that about 80% of Democrats and Republicans sided with Ukraine versus Russia in this conflict.

However, there is still no conclusive data on whether Trump’s claim that Russia would never have invaded the White House with him is true among Republican voters. How the Ukraine war could affect Donald Trump’s hopes for 2024

Fry Electronics Team

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