2024 GOP hopefuls making risky bet by indulging Trump's refusal to admit defeat

If Trump has one weakness in 2024, it would be that he lost the 2020 election to an aging Biden even as Republicans made gains down ballot. That’s a sure sign that many voters who weren’t on board with Democrats on policy decided to hold their noses and vote for Biden simply because they could not stand Trump. Do Republicans want to renominate Trump in 2024 and risk another defeat?

The problem for Republicans is that this argument only works if Republican voters think that Trump lost. If they think he actually won and the election was stolen, that argument no longer works as well. And the more 2024 Republicans dig in behind Trump right now, the more difficult it will be to defeat Trump in any primary.

The coming weeks are going to be telling. There will be a point at which Trump has exhausted all legal options and Biden still remains ahead. There will be a point at which Biden will be certified as the winner by the Electoral College. Assuming Trump still refuses to concede at that point and that he claims that he actually won but it was stolen from him, Republicans will have another opportunity to stand up to Trump and acknowledge that Biden is the legitimate winner. They will no longer be able to hide behind the idea of letting the legal process play out or to say that Biden was only declared the winner by the media. If they back Trump at that point, it could come back to haunt them in 2024.