Former President Donald J. Trump is leading all his other rivals in the Republican Party Presidential Primary by 43 points (the next candidate with major support is Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis, with merely 15 percent support in the primary). Trump has a whopping 58 percent support among registered likely voters in the Republican Party Primary.
This paradigm has persisted since March, when the former president was indicted in the first of several investigations, both state and federal alike. Before that, Trump was not dominant in the primary—and that was when he was the only serious announced candidate.
Instead, it was Governor DeSantis who, from the catastrophic Republican Party Midterm loss in November 2022 (partly caused by weak Trump-endorsed candidates) until Trump’s first indictment, was leading in the primary.
Now, the situation has changed. Republican Party voters overwhelmingly disagree that the former president did anything wrong. They certainly disagree with the Democratic Party and the Biden Administration’s assertion that Trump’s wrongful actions rise to the level of criminal activities.
Trump is the Republicans’ Bad Boy
In the eyes of most Republican voters, Trump’s 91 combined felony charges are little more than politically motivated acts by an increasingly desperate President Joe Biden.
Regardless of the veracity of the charges against Trump, the fact remains that these charges exist, that the former president is being tried both in federal and state courts, and there’s a very real possibility that Trump could be found guilty. If he were to be found guilty, the next question that would require an immediate answer would be whether Trump even qualified to assume office, if he were to win.
Even if Trump did qualify to hold office, despite having been found guilty in any of the cases he’s currently embroiled in, the logistics of him serving a sentence while being president would be controversial in itself.
It is the prospect that Trump is disqualified from holding office under a certain interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s “Insurrection Clause” that should worry the forty-fifth president the most. A legal challenge presented by John Anthony Castro, a Republican Party donor, who is also apparently running for president, is now making its way through the Colorado courts.
A hearing is set for October 30. Once the Colorado state court hears the case, many experts believe it will ultimately reach the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), where the case will be adjudicated there.
The Powers That Be Want DeSantis Out
Until Trump’s variety of legal woes are decided upon over the next couple of years, he remains the clear frontrunner for the Republican Party.
Of course, no votes have been cast—and won’t be until mid-January, when the first primary, in Iowa, is slated to take place.
The pressure campaign is mounting both from Trumpworld as well as from a clearly bored media to mix things up.
By mixing things up, I mean to say that the powers that be are already trying to get Republican presidential candidates to drop out well before the first votes are cast in the primary.
There’s little doubt that every candidate other than Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis should drop out (they shouldn’t have run in the first place). Yet, they remain, draining support from DeSantis and only empowering Trump.
The pressure campaign is explicitly directed at DeSantis, the second runner-up in most of these national polls.
The moderators at the last debate made clear their desire to see DeSantis go, when they directed a bizarre question about which candidates the other candidates would like to see “voted off the island” after the second debate.
The whole thing was a sham.
Then there are media reports that Governor DeSantis is losing support in his home state of Florida; that he’s basically a lame duck because he’s had such a weak showing as governor.
These stories are entirely false.
And they were planted in the media both by the Tallahassee Good Ole Boys Network that DeSantis has spent the last four years dismantling as well as by the Trump Campaign.
Despite enjoying a massive double-digit lead, one must ask why the former president and his surrogates refuse to debate DeSantis and why they feel the need to lie about him.
DeSantis has also lost key donors.
What the media rarely says is that doesn’t matter as much for now, because DeSantis had such a massive war chest going into the campaign—he’s out-fundraised Trump, the frontrunner, too.
Coming out of the second debate, like the first, DeSantis won.
Ron DeSantis Must Keep Fighting
Until those first votes are cast and counted, DeSantis must remain in the race. He owes it to those of us who stuck our necks out to support him publicly early on.
What’s more, the GOP voters deserve a real choice rather than a Hillary Clinton-esque coronation.
Don’t forget, after all, Trump may be winning the GOP race but he is losing bigly among important independent voters. And those legal woes are not just going to fade away.
At some point, if he is the nominee in 2024, they will come back when he least expects it—and We, The People, will pay for that oversight.
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor and an energy analyst at the The-Pipeline, 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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