Will former President Donald Trump win the Republican nomination?
Best guess: yes.
Donald Trump is the clear-cut frontrunner and the odds-on favorite to win his third consecutive nomination.
Over the weekend, POLITICO referred to the GOP contest as a three-tiered race. The first tier being Donald Trump.
The second tier being Ron DeSantis.
And the third, everyone else. Despite a crowded field, filled with experienced and credentialed leaders, Trump is drastically ahead – as two new polls of critical early-voting states indicate.
New polls have Trump way ahead
A Fox Business Network poll shows that Iowa voters are pulling for Trump, who earned 46 percent of support. DeSantis was a distant second with 16 percent. Tim Scott was the only other candidate with double-digit support at 11 percent. Vivek Ramaswamy and Nikki Haley finished with 6 percent and 5 percent respectively.
The Fox poll also studied South Carolina voters, finding that Trump’s lead was even more significant in the Palmetto State. Trump finished with 48 percent of support while former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley finished second with 14 percent.
Note: that’s a 34 percent gap between the first and second candidates. DeSantis finished third with 13 percent. Scott, a sitting Senator from South Carolina, finished fourth with just 10% percent. Former Vice President Mike Pence finished with 4 percent.
The polls confirm that the race is Trump’s to lose.
DeSantis campaign in trouble
Ron DeSantis entered the race as the favorite challenger and the most likely candidate to unseat Trump from the nomination. DeSantis is still the best bet to deprive Trump, but DeSantis’s chances are dwindling, forcing the Florida governor to hit the reset button on his underwhelming campaign.
“DeSantis is looking to regain momentum in the GOP presidential field after having been once touted as the best Republican to take on Trump,” The Hill reported. “Recent polling has indicated the governor has lost traction in key early-voting states like New Hampshire and South Carolina. Meanwhile, some donors have reportedly started to shop around for a possible alternative, like Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.).”
The bad news has been piling up for DeSantis, who recently confirmed that he was laying off campaign staffers. And while DeSantis has been raising enviable sums, his campaign is burning through those funds at an unsustainable rate. Meanwhile, the DeSantis’s campaign messaging has developed a reputation for being Florida-specific, and/or consumed with culture war issues – a problem for a governor attempting to convince the American public that he is worthy of running the federal government and crafting substantive policy.
Donald Trump impervious
As DeSantis falters, Trump gains a larger margin for error. But, really, it doesn’t seem like Trump needs a margin at all; Trump seems impervious to everything and everyone. He is a political Rasputin, unable to die or be killed.
Indictments, scandals, impeachments. Most politicians’ careers would have imploded after just one of the headlines that Trump manages to generate regularly. Howard Dean’s presidential ambitions were dashed when he let out an unflattering yelp sound. George H.W. Bush’s reelection hopes were hindered because the incumbent president checked his watch during a debate.
Mike Dukakis’s campaign went off the track when the guy wore a tank helmet. Trump meanwhile has been indicted twice, convicted of sexual harassment in civil court, and impeached twice. But paradoxically, Trump’s problems only seem to improve his chances. Why? Because for the most part, the indictments and impeachments, et cetera, appear politically motivated – which only serves to bolster Trump’s appeal among the right. A
nd with news that Jack Smith is expected to indict Trump again, in relation to his conduct on January 6th, expect Trump to simply pull further ahead of the GOP field.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.