Former President Donald Trump is without question the frontrunner in the 2024 Republican Presidential primary sweepstakes, and many believe that he will inevitably become the Republican nominee, but there is a growing possibility that voters and many ardent supporters are at the end of their rope with the former president. This is President Trump’s third run for the presidency, and it appears as if “Trump fatigue” has set it with many voters within the base of the Republican Party, possibly pushing voters to consider Gov. Ron DeSantis of Ambassador Nikki Haley.
During the 3rd GOP Presidential debate in Miami, President Trump held a rally in the Republican stronghold city of Hialeah.
The Trump campaign boasted that tens of thousands of people would be in attendance, but only several thousand people showed up, and a good chunk of those supporters began to exit early during Trump’s speech.
According to one Trump loyalist, who asked that we keep his or her name out of this story, the rally in Hialeah was “low energy” in comparison to past rallies, and Trump sounded tired and repeated many of the same campaign talking points while complaining about the Biden administration.
This same supporter attended a Mar-a-Lago event the following evening, where he said Trump was on fire and appeared to be his old self as he spoke to guests.
What was unmistakable was that Trump was not reading from a teleprompter at the Mar-a-Lago event. Trump was said to be his old self and even made the Clintons the butt of his jokes.
Trump had jokes, and it appears that the use of teleprompters takes away from the former president’s appeal and speech delivery, but may still be a necessity to make sure he adheres to the overall campaign script.
Gov. DeSantis recently said that Trump was not the same Trump who campaigned for president in 2016 and has even jabbed at him for using teleprompters.
DeSantis doesn’t use teleprompters but he does read from his notes or a prepared statement that is usually tucked away in the inside left pocket of his blazer.
DeSantis’s online “influencers,” who have relegated themselves to the fringe faction of the campaign, have been quick to use Democratic talking points against Trump, and are going as far as to hope that he “goes to prison.”
Trump faces 4 indictments and could face prison time, but these influencers have already convicted and sentenced him.
These same people supported Trump as early as mid-2022.
DeSantis vs Haley
Can DeSantis or former Ambassador Nikki Haley give Trump a real run for his money?
Both Haley and DeSantis have had great debate performances.
DeSantis showed substance and kept to his message, as did Haley, who also showed that she was not afraid to claw back at anyone who attacks her or her family.
Just ask Vivek Ramaswamy, who Haley called “scum” for invoking her 25-year-old daughter during the Miami debate.
Both Haley and DeSantis are tied for second place in the latest Des Moines Register public opinion poll.
DeSantis has all-but set up a permanent camp in Iowa, but hasn’t appeared to be getting much traction. In Iowa, DeSantis is all in, but could be all out if he gets crushed on election night.
Now, Gov. Kim Reynolds’ endorsement of DeSantis and pledge to campaign with him could move he needle in Iowa, but just how much will it help?
DeSantis and Haley are at a 30-point deficit to Trump in Iowa.
DeSantis’s ground game is second to none in Iowa, but most voters still support Trump.
Several weeks back, a delegation of DeSantis supporters and present and former employees travelled to the Hawkeye State to help canvass for support.
A couple of those Florida-based canvassers told The Floridian that “things aren’t looking good on the ground” after they knocked on doors.
The consensus among Iowans was that while they like DeSantis and what he has done in Florida, Trump was a proven leader and the best chance Republicans had to defeat President Joe Biden.
This is not good news for DeSantis, but as expected, his campaign is optimistic they will prevail over Trump, or at the very least, come in a close second place.
What’s worse is that DeSantis has been hemoragging support in all the early voting states, including his homestate of Florida.
The Florida Factor
The latest poll conducting of the race in Florida shows Trump with a massive 39-point lead over the sitting Florida governor.
In addition, during the Florida “Freedom Summit” held by the Republican Party of Florida in Kissimmee, Veteran Reporter Marc Caputo of The Messenger, broke the news that 5 state legislators had flipped their support from DeSantis to Trump.
Days later, The Floridian learned that Republican lawmakers were nudged into openly espressing their support for DeSantis in an attempt to mitigate the damage the five defections caused, and possibly prevent anymore lawmakers from walking back their endorsements of DeSantis.
Rep. Randy Fine was the first lawmaker to back Trump after first announcing his support for DeSantis.
Iowans are two months away from caucusing to possibly help elect the next Republican U.S. President.
This is not a lot of time of any candidate to swing 30 percentage points to their favor, but DeSantis could have a stronger showing than many politico or media pundit expects him to have.
Haley could prove to be a spoiler for DeSantis, and is position to pick away just enough support from DeSantis that could spell doom and gloom for him in Iowa.
DeSantis needs to lose in Iowa by no less than 15 points. If DeSantis loses by 15 points or more, you can stick a fork in his campaign. He is done. He will not run the risk of being humiliated in Florida.
Now, if he wins Iowa, well, all bets are off. An Iowa win could make the GOP presidential sweepstakes very competitive with Trump.
This is what Team DeSantis is hoping for.