Since the election of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election in which the real estate mogul from New York City won an unlikely victory against Hillary Clinton returning a Republican to the White House for the first time in 8 years, the party has struggled mightily in every subsequent election cycle. In 2018, after two years of incompetence and disarray in the Republican controlled congress, the party was trounced in Trumps midterms, and Democrats rode a massive blue wave into controlling the House of Representatives by a huge margin. In 2020, Trump lost re-election, becoming one of the few incumbent presidents to do so, and the Democrats retained control of the house of representatives and gained the senate by a slim margin utilizing the vice presidency. In 2022, during a cycle in which Republicans were heavily expected to do well in a poor political climate for Democrats, the party once again underperformed, losing another seat in the senate giving Democrats an outright majority and only retaking control of the House of Representatives by an extremely small margin.
Ultimately, while the 2024 presidential contest inches ever closer, Donald Trump remains the frontrunner for the Republican nomination despite his vulnerability. Trump has proven to be a toxic and polarizing political figure, and many Republicans in the establishment wing of the party (including his rival contestant Chris Christie) has claimed that Trump is simply an unelectable candidate.
While widely disapproved of by independents and very unpopular in general, Trump maintains a massive lead in the Republican primary, a full 47 points ahead of his nearest challenger Ron DeSantis in the latest polls. Don Tapia, a Trump official who served as the U.S. ambassador to Jamaica during Trumps administration, initially backed DeSantis early in the primary developments, defecting from supporting Trump. He has since rescinded this support and is now reportedly sending tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to Trumps 2024 campaign.