The "politics bug" is apparently a fan of the Trumps, with news out yesterday that it's bitten yet another member of the POTUS clan. Who needs a multi-billion-dollar enterprise when there's a governor's race coming up in 2018? So thinks Donald Trump Jr., as he introduced the idea of him running the great state of New York at a gun club meeting. Referencing his active role in his father's campaign, Trump Jr. said, "Going back to doing deals is boring after 18 months. The politics bug bit me.” That politics bug is a wily one, let's give him that.
But will New Yorkers give the younger Trump the keys to the governor's mansion? Odds are not looking favorable at the moment. For starters, New York is one of the most dependably Democratic states in the country. Unlike his siblings Eric and Ivanka, Donald Jr. was actually able to vote for his dad in New York's Republican primary, and that's because he himself is registered as a Republican. That sets up an immediate disadvantage for the junior Donald Trump, since it's assumed he'd be running on the party ticket he self-identifies with, not to mention the one that took his dad all the way to the Oval Office.
Of course, New Yorkers have elected Republicans before. Gov. George Pataki served the Empire State from 1995 to 2006. And most Americans will already be familiar with the tenure of Republican Rudy Giuliani, who served as mayor of NYC from 1991 to 2001. Both won reelection, which means that New Yorkers were more or less satisfied with their governing abilities. That might bolster the younger Trump's confidence.
But don't get ahead of yourself there, Trump Jr. Because before anyone thinks of a Trump as a Republican, they first think of them as... a Trump. And the country's current opinion of the newly instated president is decidedly negative. A recent Quinnipiac poll revealed that just 37 percent of surveyed Americans approve of Trump's governance thus far. The same survey showed only 4 out of 10 saying they thought Trump cared about "average Americans."
One other difference separating Donald Jr. and Donald Sr. is the celebrity factor. President Trump made himself a reality star through years of television exposure, sure. But also, Trump Sr. has some kind of "it" factor, a natural magnetism of the sort that cannot be replicated.
Whether or not Trump's eldest son has the same big-league personal draw might be decided in New York's 2018 governor's race.