Donald Trump is currently the favorite to secure the Republican primary nomination and therefore earn the opportunity to face the Democratic nominee in November 2024. The polls place him well ahead of his main competitor (who has yet to enter the race) and even further ahead of his current rivals. However, according to the analysis of a current GOP senator, the former president would not be able to win in the general election.
Bill Cassidy is a 65-year-old physician who has served as a state legislator, a U.S. congressman and currently represents Louisiana in the Senate. He came to the Senate in 2015 and was re-elected in 2020 by a 40% margin over Democrat Adrian Perkins.
Recently, he was asked on CNN about his party’s presidential primaries, and he concluded: “If past [is] prologue, that means President Trump is going to have a hard time in those swing states, which means that he cannot win a general election.”
In addition, Cassidy singled out his colleague Tim Scott (R-SC), who will formally announce his candidacy for president today in his home state.
“I don’t think Trump can win a general election”
— CNN (@CNN) May 21, 2023
The history between Trump and Cassidy
Although the senator voted for Trump’s agenda 89% of the time when he was president, the two have had their run-ins in recent years, mainly since the mogul left the White House. Back during the better times of their relationship, Cassidy faced re-election in November 2020 and had Trump’s endorsement. “You are doing an outstanding job representing the people of Louisiana & the U.S.A. You have my Complete and Total Endorsement!” the former president said.
The deterioration began on January 6, 2020, when the senator called those who participated in the Capitol break-in “hooligans” and “un-American.” Weeks later, he was one of seven Republican senators to vote in favor of convicting Trump of “incitement to insurrection.” “Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person. I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty,” Cassidy later commented to explain his vote.
In June 2021, the former president officially endorsed Louisiana’s other senator, John Kennedy, while rebuking Cassidy. “Unlike Louisiana’s other Senator, Bill Cassidy, who used my name in ads and all over the place in order to get re-elected, and then went ‘stupid,’ John Kennedy is the real deal - a brilliant and highly educated man who will never let you down.”
Months later, Cassidy declared that he would not support Trump in an eventual 2024 bid. “President Trump is the first president, in the Republican side at least, to lose the House, the Senate and the presidency in four years. Elections are about winning,” he confessed to Axios.
Of course, this earned him an aggressive response from Trump. In addition to calling him a “RINO,” an acronym for “Republican in name only,” he added that “Wacky Bill Cassidy can’t walk down the street in Louisiana, a State I won by almost 20 points. He could not even be elected dog catcher today, the great people curse him.”