What do former Vice-President Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Doug Burgum, and Will Hurd have in common?
They’re all pathetic losers who stand absolutely zero chance of ever becoming the 2024 GOP presidential nominee.
Yet, there they remain, sucking up limited GOP campaign resources, wasting talent, and misdirecting votes toward their own quixotic campaigns when those votes should be going toward the two frontrunners, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis and former President Donald J. Trump.
For Ron DeSantis, who was the most likely candidate to beat Trump in the 2024 GOP Primary, he has found himself in a political pickle, as the Republican National Committee (RNC) has allowed for the Keebler Elves, as Stephen K. Bannon has rightly described them, to descend upon the primary process and make an utter mockery out of the primary—as I warned Ronna McDaniel they would do, if she and her team did not make strict rules for ensuring that the GOP race had only two candidates in 2024.
The failure to tighten up the primary rules means that no one will get a clean shot at Trump.
The fact of the matter is that this isn’t about “Never Trumpers” rallying against the orange man from the White House. I was a vocal and early Trump supporter in 2016. I publicly defended him throughout his tumultuous campaign. However, former President Trump’s record while in office demands that he be held accountable for critical—avoidable—failures.
Republicans Don’t Get a Proper Primary
A proper primary would have done that. And Governor DeSantis, himself a proud member of the “MAGA” coalition which propelled Trump to power in 2016, is the perfect person to hold Trump accountable in a Republican Party Primary.
Yet, the seemingly unending presence of the Keebler Elves is doing just enough damage to the only real Trump alternative in the 2024 race, Ron DeSantis, to stymie the Florida governor from getting a decisive blow against Trump’s reelection campaign.
Let’s face it, Trump is a shadow of the candidate he once was in 2016. Gone are the days of joyous poking of the Left and the lying press. No more talk even about making America great.
Instead, everything is subordinated to Trump’s needs; to feeding his wounded ego after “Sleepy” Joe apparently defeated him in 2020, to coopting vital money needed for his campaign and using it instead for his various legal woes (most of which were critical self-owns).
All those resources should be thrown behind the campaign of the candidate who is best suited to beat the Democratic Party’s corrupt machine. That person is clearly the younger, savvier, tougher, and much more effective Ron DeSantis.
But the presence of the Keebler Elves distracts and drains enough votes from DeSantis long enough for the septuagenarian Trump to limp across the finish line—with the rabid politicized dogs of the Biden Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) chomping at his heels and rear-end the entire way.
Although Governor DeSantis has been wounded since officially announcing his candidacy for the 2024 Republican Presidential Primary earlier this summer, he has withstood the attacks the Trump Campaign has lobbed at him.
DeSantis maintains a decisive fundraising advantage over Trump, which is shocking when one considers that Trump is the most recent Republican Party president who announced his candidacy months before DeSantis did.
Ron DeSantis Makes Necessary Changes, Trump Blunders Ahead
More than that, DeSantis has shaken loose from his campaign much of the baggage that was holding him back whereas Trump continues to plow ahead, fueled primarily on grievance and ambiguous assertions that he alone can save the GOP and the country.
Well, Trump had four years already to do that and the best we got out of him was Nikki Haley at the UN, John Bolton as the White House national security adviser, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, who locked us down, crushed our economy, and helped to hand the 2020 Election to Joe Biden!
For DeSantis, the first primary state to vote, Iowa, will be his campaign’s Waterloo. It will make-or-break him. DeSantis has spent most of his time and resources on winning over the people in Iowa. He’s the only candidate who has taken the time to travel to 53 out of 99 of Iowa’s voting districts—and he plans on visiting them all before January, when voting is set to take place in the Hawkeye GOP Primary.
Trump as the frontrunner who was the former Republican Party president holds decisive advantages going into the primary.
Yet, Trump has already seen his polling begin to slip nationally.
And the forty-fifth president has historically fared poorly in the Hawkeye state. In 2016, for example, Trump did not win the state. Of course, he went on to win the primary. But that was before he had a presidential record that was nowhere near as sterling as the promises that he had made to Republican Party voters in the 2016 campaign.
On top of having the campaign cash on hand to make a dent in Trump’s support in Iowa, DeSantis has a better ground game. What’s more, DeSantis is putting in the hard work to win over recalcitrant Iowa voters. Beyond that, DeSantis is going to have to start focusing on cleaving away some of the support for the Keebler Elves in Iowa. Nikki Haley and Mike Pence both have six percent of the Iowan voters’ support thus far, according to a USA Today poll. DeSantis can win over at least some of those voters. Dittos with Chris Christie voters.
Defeat the Keebler Elves to Beat Trump
It’s very simple: none of the Keebler Elves can or will win. Most of the voters behind the Elves are supporting people other than Donald Trump, which means if their current candidates were not in the race, they’d be supporting the other candidate who is not Donald J. Trump—likely Ron DeSantis.
I exclude Vivek Ramaswamy because most of his support is coming from the same kind of voters who are going to break for Trump if Vivek is not running. Let’s face it, too, Ramaswamy is a plant developed by the Trump Campaign and Tucker Carlson to punish both the GOP and Fox News for not being totally onboard the Trump Train in 2024.
If DeSantis can cleave the votes away from those Keebler Elves, it’d put him near—or above—Trump’s 42 percent of support among Iowans. He needs to not only hit every single Iowan voting district and make the personal, but physical connections also that few other candidates are willing to do.
But DeSantis must spend his time striking hard against those Keebler Elves whose votes he needs to displace Trump from the frontrunner position. Otherwise, he’ll lose Iowa, and likely his dreams of being the next president will be gone forever. Start picking off the easier targets now before moving onto Trump into Iowa. That’s how DeSantis will generate momentum going into the voting period in January in the Hawkeye Caucus.
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert occasionally serves as a Subject Matter Expert for various organizations, including the Department of Defense. He can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.
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