Following almost a full year of campaigning, a stark contrast has emerged between the “Ron DeSantis” that the conservative elites believed they were supporting last autumn and the real Ron DeSantis that voters have been able to witness in person.
Nikki Haley Is the New Ron DeSantis
Conservative leaders envisioned a charismatic, combative leader combining Trump’s aggressive rhetoric with a more conventional conservative agenda and efficient, low-key administration.
Old-school Republicans who had not given in to Trumpism or abandoned the party were captivated by him. National Review transformed into a DeSantis fanzine in essence.
DeSantis’s popularity decreased as more people got to know him. The major turnoff for his supporters is that he has not even come close to undermining Trump’s overwhelming advantage in the race.
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Due to underperforming, the donors have left. A super PAC that supports DeSantis has reduced expenditures and lost employees. DeSantis’ underperformance is what led to the currently growing Haley’s craze.
The former governor of South Carolina and ambassador to the UN has marginally improved in recent surveys and is currently third in the average national poll conducted by RealClearPolitics, behind only Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis.
In the nation’s top primary state, New Hampshire, she has surpassed DeSantis in polls and is often coming second.
She recently received former Representative Will Hurd‘s backing this week after he withdrew from the Republican contest. This month, she will be speaking at two significant donor conferences.
Although her surge is the most noteworthy in the race, it is far from the major candidate bubbles of the GOP primaries in 2012 and 2016.
Nikki Haley‘s impressive debate performance has contributed to this, as she has shown herself to be a mature, engaging person not defined by her association with Trump. But more than anything, she has gained from DeSantis’s catastrophic collapse.
It also indicates the anxiety of anti-Trump Republicans that DeSantis couldn’t unite them to oppose Trump. Haley is expected to grab the opportunity to unite them and fight strongly against Trump.
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Haley’s increasing popularity indicates that Republicans would select a different candidate if only the proper one put forth a strong stand.
However, among GOP voters nationwide, Trump often polls higher than 50%.
Haley would still be behind Trump even if every Republican contender dropped out and supported Haley instead of Trump, which is hard to assume, considering the relationship between Vivek Ramaswamy and Haley.
It also implies that Haley’s rise will be merely a side story to Trump’s renomination, which makes it intellectually intriguing.
Nikki Haley may have her chance now not to take the lead in the Republican presidential contest.
However, it might be her opportunity to fortify the GOP’s opposition to Trump and to strongly bid for the silver medal and perhaps a favorable speaking position at the RNC in Milwaukee next summer.
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