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Does Trump Still Need the Big Lie?

US President Donald Trump arrives to a campaign rally at Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay, Wisconsin on October 30, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
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July 25, 2022 4:05 p.m.

On Saturday, in a post about the current state of and future of Trumpism, I said that a key reason for the slow deterioration of Trump’s 2024 support is his relentlessly backward-looking and self-centered focus. In other words, it’s the Big Lie and the ways in which the Big Lie has incorporated the Mueller probe, his impeachments and all of his other first term wounds and grievances. TPM Reader TS wrote in to say that while he agreed with my argument he wondered whether Jon Chait’s related piece modified or changed my view of this. Chait argued that the conventional wisdom, which holds that Trump needs to give up his fixation on the 2020 election, is plainly wrong. Not only does he not need to drop the Big Lie — in fact, it’s his best strategy for getting the 2024 nomination.

So who’s right?

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