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Dominic Cummings: Donald Trump would win in 2024

Happier times. Credit: Getty

April 18, 2023 - 10:00am

Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis would both beat Joe Biden in a 2024 presidential election, Brexit mastermind Dominic Cummings has claimed, citing private polling. Testing attitudes to the various presidential candidates and crucial issues like the cost of living, health, abortion, crime and Ukraine, the former Downing Street adviser predicts that both Republican candidates would secure victory over the incumbent President.

Although his modelling was conducted before Trump’s arrest (his numbers have since improved), what distinguishes Cummings’s data from public polling is that he claims to have made more of an effort to sample low-education, low-trust voters who do not read much news. In a new Substack article, the strategist predicts that Trump would lose the popular vote to Biden by around two points, but win the electoral college 294-244. 

Source: Dominic Cummings

According to his model — for which the underlying data has not been published — Biden’s 2020 vote in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin falls “just enough” that the states flip back to Trump in 2024. Cummings adds that Trump would beat other Democrats such as Vice President Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by a more comfortable margin (though he notes that AOC would be “tougher” due to her stronger political and communication skills).

Source: Dominic Cummings

DeSantis, meanwhile, beats all three Democratic candidates by a wider margin in the Cummings model. Against Biden, DeSantis also flips Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin as well as Arizona, giving the Florida governor 305 electoral college votes versus Biden’s 233. 

In the model, the one Democrat who beats both Trump and DeSantis is transport secretary Pete Buttigieg, but Cummings warns that his numbers, like DeSantis’s, are “noisier” (i.e. less reliable) because they are less well-known.

Cummings goes on to discuss the factors that might lead to a Trump victory. Due to his “strong grip” over GOP voters and Biden’s relatively low levels of popularity and lack of enthusiasm among Democratic voters, Trump is well-placed to gain re-election — if he campaigns on the right issues. According to Cummings, Trump made a “big mistake” in focusing on the ‘stolen’ election in 2020 rather than the economy, which his polling suggests is his strongest card. Other areas include crime and the border, where the Democrats are acutely vulnerable.

Although DeSantis is yet to formally declare a run, the former Vote Leave director advises the Florida governor not to campaign as a “mini-Trump”: “If he persuades Trump fans that
 he’s mini-Trump, why vote for him, why not stick with the real deal, especially since Trump’s got the experience, he knows how the swamp works and how to beat it, and we know what a great job he already did on the economy?” Instead, Cummings recommends that DeSantis builds a new economic plan, develops a story about how he’d change Washington, and finds a strategy that appeals to MAGA and swing voters.

Cummings concludes by arguing that AI could have a transformative effect on the 2024 election. “2024 will be the first election in which AI could be a significant factor,” he writes. “What if it is used by Trump and Biden? What if it’s used by Putin?! What if it’s used by Biden, Trump, Putin, China and other players like MBS who want to see Trump win?!”

This could work to the GOP’s advantage: “Many players around the world regard Biden as senile, the Democrats as insane, and the DC system — together with European capitals — spinning out of control towards more war,” he writes. “Perhaps many powerful players will conclude — if Trump (or DeSantis) wins, then no wars, a deal on Ukraine and back to ‘One China’ on Taiwan, DC’s madness is more limited to DC rather than cascading across the world, and everybody makes more money. Powerful incentives!”

Read the full article here.

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polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

“Many players around the world regard Biden as senile, the Democrats as insane”
As an Englishman I will not presume to offer advice to the American electorate, but it is difficult to argue with this.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

“Many players around the world regard Biden as senile, the Democrats as insane”
As an Englishman I will not presume to offer advice to the American electorate, but it is difficult to argue with this.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago

“Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.” ― Joseph Stalin

Gerald Arcuri
Gerald Arcuri
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Oft-quoted by extremists who believe elections are stolen routinely, everywhere. But Stalin was not referring to the United States, or any other constitutional democracy. He was referring to himself. He could say this confidently because he counted the votes.

Gerald Arcuri
Gerald Arcuri
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Oft-quoted by extremists who believe elections are stolen routinely, everywhere. But Stalin was not referring to the United States, or any other constitutional democracy. He was referring to himself. He could say this confidently because he counted the votes.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago

“Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.” ― Joseph Stalin

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

I give this poll, with no published data and more than 18 months before the election, zero per cent credibility.

Gerald Arcuri
Gerald Arcuri
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

You’re being way too generous.

Gerald Arcuri
Gerald Arcuri
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

You’re being way too generous.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

I give this poll, with no published data and more than 18 months before the election, zero per cent credibility.

Josh Allan
Josh Allan
1 year ago

For the love of God, please go with DeSantis

Gerald Arcuri
Gerald Arcuri
1 year ago
Reply to  Josh Allan

For the love of democracy, go with DeSantis or Tim Scott.

Gerald Arcuri
Gerald Arcuri
1 year ago
Reply to  Josh Allan

For the love of democracy, go with DeSantis or Tim Scott.

Josh Allan
Josh Allan
1 year ago

For the love of God, please go with DeSantis

rob clark
rob clark
1 year ago

“since Trump’s got the experience, he knows how the swamp works and how to beat it,”

He may know how the swamp works but was unfortunately ineffective at reforming a thing. The swamp and its legacy media acolytes were after him from day one. He was a lightning rod to them. I think DeSantis could get more things done.

rob clark
rob clark
1 year ago

“since Trump’s got the experience, he knows how the swamp works and how to beat it,”

He may know how the swamp works but was unfortunately ineffective at reforming a thing. The swamp and its legacy media acolytes were after him from day one. He was a lightning rod to them. I think DeSantis could get more things done.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

I disagree completely with this assertion. It is difficult for me to imagine a scenario where Trump is able to beat any Democrat, except maybe AOC. She’s shrill and unapologetic wokeist who practically oozes the contempt for middle America that sunk Hillary’s campaign. She probably has nearly as many bad takes as Biden does without the excuse of senility. It’s doubtful the party would allow her to win the nomination. Anyone else Trump loses. Jan 6th was an important moment. Granted, the media and establishment blew it far out of proportion, but it still represented a step towards civil chaos, and when people stand alone in the voting booth, I’m betting many will choose their fear of civil chaos over their political views or whatever they think about the economy. Also, neither party is backing down on China. That’s a European pipe dream. The anti-China sentiment is at a much higher level here in the USA. It’s practically the only thing that voters and both parties agree on. Being ‘soft’ on China is politically toxic so of course both parties accuse the other of it. Biden has refused to lift the tariffs even in the face of inflation is because his party would pay a political price at the polls that they can’t really afford.

Paul Hendricks
Paul Hendricks
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

I have no doubt that some voters still view Jan 6 as an “attack on democracy”, or terrifying evidence of impending “civil chaos” as you put it.

Still, were this a widely-held view, one would have expected a less partisan committee; more damning evidence with no need for manipulation; and greater viewership and coverage of the committee.

But it is not so. Which suggests that those who find media reporting and the Biden administration’s stance on Jan 6, not to mention other matters, wholly persuasive were never likely to vote Republican anyway.

The media doesn’t report on it, but I see plenty of concern, as well as resentment, about the ongoing treatment of Jan 6 “rioters”, with fundraisers for them and their families taking place all over the country, despite the expected obstacles such as cancellation.

And, like it or not, don’t many other people react to Jan 6 with a shrug or a big yawn?

Let’s say Trump loses to DeSantis in the GOP primary. What does he have to do with Jan 6 on the minds of so many voters?

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Hendricks

Your counterpoint is well taken. It is difficult to guess what’s in the mind of the average voter. Still, people will believe any lie if it’s repeated often enough and the media knows this. They’ve been planting seeds of fear since Jan 6th happened. I’m simply speculating that in many cases, these seeds will bear fruit. Then again perhaps their overreaction will be the more decisive factor. Either way, I think you’ll have to concede Trump has made many enemies and rubs a lot of voters the wrong way. He’s riding a wave of anti-establishment sentiment that frankly no longer needs him. He benefited in 2016 from being ‘the only game in town’ i.e. the only candidate who would dare challenge political orthodoxy. Now that he’s just one of several populist leaning candidates, his numerous personal failings are an important differentiating factor and he looks less electable than others.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Hendricks

Your counterpoint is well taken. It is difficult to guess what’s in the mind of the average voter. Still, people will believe any lie if it’s repeated often enough and the media knows this. They’ve been planting seeds of fear since Jan 6th happened. I’m simply speculating that in many cases, these seeds will bear fruit. Then again perhaps their overreaction will be the more decisive factor. Either way, I think you’ll have to concede Trump has made many enemies and rubs a lot of voters the wrong way. He’s riding a wave of anti-establishment sentiment that frankly no longer needs him. He benefited in 2016 from being ‘the only game in town’ i.e. the only candidate who would dare challenge political orthodoxy. Now that he’s just one of several populist leaning candidates, his numerous personal failings are an important differentiating factor and he looks less electable than others.

Paul Hendricks
Paul Hendricks
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

I have no doubt that some voters still view Jan 6 as an “attack on democracy”, or terrifying evidence of impending “civil chaos” as you put it.

Still, were this a widely-held view, one would have expected a less partisan committee; more damning evidence with no need for manipulation; and greater viewership and coverage of the committee.

But it is not so. Which suggests that those who find media reporting and the Biden administration’s stance on Jan 6, not to mention other matters, wholly persuasive were never likely to vote Republican anyway.

The media doesn’t report on it, but I see plenty of concern, as well as resentment, about the ongoing treatment of Jan 6 “rioters”, with fundraisers for them and their families taking place all over the country, despite the expected obstacles such as cancellation.

And, like it or not, don’t many other people react to Jan 6 with a shrug or a big yawn?

Let’s say Trump loses to DeSantis in the GOP primary. What does he have to do with Jan 6 on the minds of so many voters?

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

I disagree completely with this assertion. It is difficult for me to imagine a scenario where Trump is able to beat any Democrat, except maybe AOC. She’s shrill and unapologetic wokeist who practically oozes the contempt for middle America that sunk Hillary’s campaign. She probably has nearly as many bad takes as Biden does without the excuse of senility. It’s doubtful the party would allow her to win the nomination. Anyone else Trump loses. Jan 6th was an important moment. Granted, the media and establishment blew it far out of proportion, but it still represented a step towards civil chaos, and when people stand alone in the voting booth, I’m betting many will choose their fear of civil chaos over their political views or whatever they think about the economy. Also, neither party is backing down on China. That’s a European pipe dream. The anti-China sentiment is at a much higher level here in the USA. It’s practically the only thing that voters and both parties agree on. Being ‘soft’ on China is politically toxic so of course both parties accuse the other of it. Biden has refused to lift the tariffs even in the face of inflation is because his party would pay a political price at the polls that they can’t really afford.

Gerald Arcuri
Gerald Arcuri
1 year ago

Dominic Cummings is either smoking some mighty strong weed, or he is posturing. Quorsum? Trump will split the Republican vote, and the conservative vote ( two distinct but overlapping constituencies ) and hand the victory to the Democrats just as Ross Perot did once upon a time. Trump cannot win on his own questionable merits, but he can and will play the spoiler – vindictively. Even if the Republican Party finds a spine and nominates DeSantis or someone else, Trump will drag away enough votes to sink that candidacy. Mother Theresa will be revealed as a closet Nazi before Donald Trump will endorse another candidate. He hasn’t got enough class and he puts self ahead of country. So much for “polls”.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Gerald Arcuri

best prediction so far thanks !!

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Gerald Arcuri

best prediction so far thanks !!

Gerald Arcuri
Gerald Arcuri
1 year ago

Dominic Cummings is either smoking some mighty strong weed, or he is posturing. Quorsum? Trump will split the Republican vote, and the conservative vote ( two distinct but overlapping constituencies ) and hand the victory to the Democrats just as Ross Perot did once upon a time. Trump cannot win on his own questionable merits, but he can and will play the spoiler – vindictively. Even if the Republican Party finds a spine and nominates DeSantis or someone else, Trump will drag away enough votes to sink that candidacy. Mother Theresa will be revealed as a closet Nazi before Donald Trump will endorse another candidate. He hasn’t got enough class and he puts self ahead of country. So much for “polls”.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
1 year ago

Biden will get 82 million votes and win.

Gerald Arcuri
Gerald Arcuri
1 year ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

And the U.S. will have a real-live action movie like “Weekend at Bernie’s” and “Waking Ned Devine”.

Gerald Arcuri
Gerald Arcuri
1 year ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

And the U.S. will have a real-live action movie like “Weekend at Bernie’s” and “Waking Ned Devine”.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
1 year ago

Biden will get 82 million votes and win.

Walter Schwager
Walter Schwager
1 year ago

Confirmed GOP donors are leaving DeSantis over his extreme positions on abortion and other issues. Abortion is still the main issue that manages to recruit moderate independents to the Democratic camp, Biden or no Biden. Look at what happened in Wisconsin. That’s not polling, that is voting!

Gerald Arcuri
Gerald Arcuri
1 year ago

This is a good point. I would only add this: DeSantis’ position on abortion is not extreme, unless you define a minority opinion of Americans as “moderate”. Most Americans want abortion restrictions, up to and including a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to life (as mentioned in the Declaration of Independence) to unborn children. What is extreme is the media, academia, and progressivist propaganda against the unborn.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
1 year ago

In 1982, 1,900,000 Chicagoans voted in the mayoral race in that city, electing Harold Washington. In 2023, all of 450,000 people voted. Why such a massive decline in voter turnout? Yes, it was a runoff, but the numbers were way down in general election too. You say that’s voting; I say that’s not voting. Again, why so much not voting?

Gerald Arcuri
Gerald Arcuri
1 year ago

This is a good point. I would only add this: DeSantis’ position on abortion is not extreme, unless you define a minority opinion of Americans as “moderate”. Most Americans want abortion restrictions, up to and including a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to life (as mentioned in the Declaration of Independence) to unborn children. What is extreme is the media, academia, and progressivist propaganda against the unborn.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
1 year ago

In 1982, 1,900,000 Chicagoans voted in the mayoral race in that city, electing Harold Washington. In 2023, all of 450,000 people voted. Why such a massive decline in voter turnout? Yes, it was a runoff, but the numbers were way down in general election too. You say that’s voting; I say that’s not voting. Again, why so much not voting?

Walter Schwager
Walter Schwager
1 year ago

Confirmed GOP donors are leaving DeSantis over his extreme positions on abortion and other issues. Abortion is still the main issue that manages to recruit moderate independents to the Democratic camp, Biden or no Biden. Look at what happened in Wisconsin. That’s not polling, that is voting!

Max Price
Max Price
1 year ago

I’m not sure polling against Harris is necessary. I’d beat her.