(Chuck Muth) – Before getting started today, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich interviewed me for his “Newt’s World” podcast last week. The interview – “Episode 587: Preparing for the 2024 Election” – was posted yesterday. You can catch it by clicking here. Now… For all those who say Trump can’t win the general election – you might be right, but you don’t KNOW. No one has a crystal ball. You may *think* he can’t win, but you don’t really know for sure. Remember, the “experts” said he couldn’t win in 2016…but he did. And a lot can happen between now and November ’24. For all those who say DeSantis can’t win the primary election – you might be right, but you don’t KNOW. No one has a crystal ball. You may *think* he can’t win, but you don’t really know for sure. A lot can happen between now and next February when the first votes are cast. Remember, when Ted Cruz announced his presidential run in 2015, he was only getting 5% of the vote in Iowa…which he went on to win at the caucus in 2016. So can we at least agree that what we *think* will happen might or might not and stop declaring, with metaphysical certitude, beliefs that are really just hopes and predictions? That said, we live in Nevada. Setting and taking odds is what we do. So it’s fair to say the odds, at this point, are against Trump winning the general election or DeSantis winning the primary. And that’s an issue the campaigns – especially campaigns in swing states and districts – need to deal with. As voters, we need to make an assessment as to which GOP candidate we think has the best chance to go on and win the general election. With that in mind, consider these observations by columnist Dan Flynn of the American Spectator last week… “A new Monmouth poll shows Donald Trump leading handily for the Republican nomination but losing by seven points to Joe Biden in a general election rematch. “He loses by seven points not to John F. Kennedy or Franklin Roosevelt but to a guy whose stumbles forced aides to alter the stairs to Air Force One and whose bumbles forced them to place one of their number in an Easter Bunny costume to protect him from his own idiocy. “Conservatives want Donald Trump president. But pursuing this dream likely creates a nightmare scenario: a second Biden term. Nevertheless, Donald Trump’s best chance for a second term occurs if he faces Biden and Joe Biden’s best chance for a second term occurs if he faces Trump.” And it’s not just the presidential race that’s being affected. What some are referring to as “Cult45” folks have taken over a number of state GOP operations, including Nevada, with disastrous electoral results. Jim Geraghty of National Review has some observations… “In these states, we are seeing the self-marginalization of the Republican Party. No outside force came along and forced these state parties to spend money, alienate traditional supporters and donors, pick nasty fights with their own lawmakers, turn loyalty to Trump into the preeminent litmus test on all issues and disputes, and alienate and repel once-persuadable swing voters. No, the people who took over these parties chose this path. “Yes, the pre-Trump Republican Party had its faults, and there’s no getting around that. Perhaps you remember it as being boring, stuffy, and predictable, with the state and local parties largely being run by nice old ladies who liked to wear big hats. But those allegedly boring types also tended to get the basics right: get more money coming in than is going out, pay attention to down-ballot races, and avoid infighting and messy public squabbles.” Geraghty concludes… “These state party leaders are not interested in attracting the votes of anyone they deem insufficiently dedicated to the MAGA vision. That includes a lot of suburbanites, white-collar professionals, soccer moms… “A movement driven by a sense of a culture war requires enemies, and a lot of members of the MAGA crowd are perfectly happy to cast the old Republican base of boring, sensible, prudent suburbanites as one of its many enemies. “Unsurprisingly, those voters start to leave the party, both formally and informally, and they close their checkbooks. When the lunatics come in, the sane people want to leave.” I know, I know. Trump supporters don’t want to hear this. But it’s a legitimate concern and opinion – even among past Trump supporters. And it’s particularly relevant to Nevada where Trump lost in both 2016 and 2020. Consider what columnist Jim Hartman wrote this weekend in the Nevada Appeal… “With 39,220 more Republicans voting than Democrats in Nevada’s 2022 general election, the GOP was positioned to sweep statewide races. Instead, in the seven statewide contests, Republicans won governor, lieutenant governor and controller, but lost races for U.S. Senate, attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer. The problem for Republicans: they nominated far-right candidates who said stupid things, thereby repelling ‘swing’ independent voters.” Hartman continued… “In the attorney general’s race, ultra-MAGA Republican lawyer Sigal Chattah performed the worst among ‘other’ voters, with 43.5% more supporting incumbent Democrat Aaron Ford. She lost to Ford badly — by 77,179 votes. … “The Nevada Republican Party is dominated by the extreme right. In January, the state party elected Chattah as Nevada’s Republican National committeewoman. She routinely attacks other Republicans and files meritless lawsuits. There’s little evidence enough Nevada Republicans learned from the disappointing 2022 election result.” Columnist Michael Schaus seconded that emotion in the Nevada Codependent on Sunday… “It’s well past time the GOP divorce itself from the man who carried the party into the White House in 2016. … Given the disastrous electoral consequences such sycophantic hero-worship brought the party last year, one would think even the most ardent supporters of the former president would rethink the tactic of turning the GOP into a Trump fan-club. “Here in Nevada, for example, last year’s trifecta of ultra-MAGA candidates — Michelle Fiore, Sigal Chattah and Jim Marchant — should illustrate just how abysmal the Trumpian political playbook has worked out for the party. … “Such chaos extends well beyond candidates — infecting the inner workings of the party itself. In 2022, for example, Chattah failed miserably in her attempt to unseat Democratic Attorney General Aaron Ford — and yet, members of the state Republican Party nonetheless promoted her to the role of national committeewoman thanks to her continued devotion to the church of MAGA. “Nothing like failing upwards, right?” Schaus concludes by warning that “many within Nevada’s GOP seem more interested in pursuing self-immolation at the altar of MAGA than figuring out how to become marginally more likable among ordinary voters.” Fortunately, there’s a winning model for GOP candidates in 2024 to follow, as noted by Peter Guzman, president of the Latin Chamber of Commerce, in an op-ed published by the Las Vegas Sun yesterday… “By focusing on kitchen table issues like education and job creation, (Nevada Gov. Joe) Lombardo built support from across the political spectrum. In a state as purple as Nevada, the governor is proving to be the kind of leader we need to get things done.” And not only was it a winning formula at the ballot box, but the governor’s “get sh*t done” focus is resonating with the public, too. A recent Morning Consult poll shows Lombardo’s favorable rating has shot up to 57%, placing him in the Top 20 of governors nationwide. Republicans in Nevada – and nationally – need to keep two things in mind as you assess your primary picks: (1) Majorities get to lead. (2) You get majorities by addition, not subtraction. CORRECTION In a previous issue of Muth’s Truths, I incorrectly attributed a quote to Gov. Ron DeSantis that actually came from a Muth’s Truths reader, John Mclain. The quote attribution has been updated on my blog. FAMOUS LAST WORDS “If Republicans are disappointed with the results of the 2024 elections — for the fourth straight cycle, mind you — a key factor will be the replacement of competent, boring, regular state-party officials with quite exciting, blustering nutjobs who have little or no interest in the basics of successfully managing a state party or the basic blocking and tackling involved in helping GOP candidates win elections.” – Jim Geraghty of National Review (it’s called “The Chattah Effect” here in Nevada) Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views, and founder of CampaignDoctor.com. You can sign up for his conservative, Nevada-focused e-newsletter at MuthsTruths.com. His views are his own.