Paul Ingrassia’s Substack: At last week’s CNN Town Hall, President Trump said he would have the war in Ukraine resolved in “one day, 24 hours” – a response that seemed to echo the famous “I alone can fix it” line from 2016. Back then, Trump’s pronouncement was met with great controversy. Seven years later, apart from a few left-wing pundits on Twitter, the President’s statement was accepted almost like an article of faith.
Trump has endeared himself to a critical portion of the electorate, who have grown to learn and appreciate that whatever bombast might embellish Trump’s rhetoric is backed up by real action and meaningful policies. Chief among these is an ability to negotiate in high-pressure situations, which has earned the 45th President respect on the global arena in a way that neither the current occupant of the White House – or any would-be Republican primary challenger – could ever conceive of possibly matching.
This fact about Trump’s unalloyed dominance, not unexpectedly, has permeated the polling. The latest Interactive Polls results show Trump with a whopping 43-point lead over Ron DeSantis, his nearest opponent, representing a 32-point increase since January. To make matters worse for the Florida Governor, his own constituents are rejecting him in droves for the 45th President. According to a recent poll conducted by Florida Atlantic University, nearly 2 out of 3 registered Floridian voters said they would pick Trump over their own Governor in a head-to-head matchup.
2024 Republican primary polling trends by Morning Consult
• Trump — 45% (+11)
• DeSantis — 34%
• Trump — 48% (+18)
• DeSantis — 30%
• Trump — 56% (+33)
• DeSantis — 23%
• Trump — 61% (+43)
• DeSantis — 18% pic.twitter.com/Tq4RPOsZuw
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) May 16, 2023
Meanwhile, the narrative that DeSantis would help swoon reticent Independent and suburban women voters has been obliterated by a recent Siena College poll tweeted by Rep. Elise Stefanik that not only found that “60 percent of New York Republicans back” President Trump over any other candidate, but perhaps even more remarkable, of those polled, women outpaced men in their support for the 45th President, 67% to 53%.
Further adding insult to injury for DeSantis, both candidates that the Florida Governor endorsed in Tuesday’s primary lost – and in Kentucky, the DeSantis candidate lost to the Trump-supported candidate. In that particular race, Trump-endorsed candidate, Daniel Cameron, beat the DeSantis-endorsed candidate, Kelly Craft, who is poised to finish a distant third when all votes are tallied.
In the Jacksonville mayoral race, DeSantis’ handpicked candidate, Daniel Davis, fared no better: Davis lost his bid for that office to the Democratic candidate, Donna Deegan. This subjected the Sunshine Governor to a blitzkrieg of criticism from the 45th President’s Truth Social account, who rightly pointed out that “Ron’s magic is GONE!,” while reminding his audience in another Truth of the fact that “‘Rob’ only won because of me!!!”
The Jacksonville result, in particular, is startling because it absolutely shatters the notion that DeSantis has ushered in a permanent red tidal wave across the Sunshine State. There are unnerving pockets of blue resurgence percolating throughout the entire state, not only in Jacksonville. This liberal resurgence foretells a very real danger that, without persistent efforts by conservatives, Florida may soon revert to its bellwether – if not out-and-out liberal, ways, and do so with a vengeance.
If anything could be gleaned from the struggles of nearby once ruby-red Texas, a state that has been radically trending leftward due to demographic changes and continues apace in that direction under a Republican Governor – it is that Ron DeSantis should not rest on his laurels. Specifically, DeSantis should not be spending most of his time now out-of-state (and out-of-country), running a shadow campaign operation of highly doubtful legality.
BREAKING NEWS: President Trump is leading in the New York Republican primary by over 50% in the latest independent poll.
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) May 16, 2023
DeSantis’ myriad misfortunes have been counteracted by a rising Trump, whose momentum only seems to grow stronger with each day. The results of the Durham report from Monday, which vindicated virtually everything Donald Trump has ever said about the Russian hoax, as well as the completely groundless witch-hunt that consumed so much of his first term in office, only further ensconced himself to his countrymen – millions who see him as the only thing standing in the way of all-out tyranny.
Perhaps no better line captures the stakes of our current moment than when Trump said, “I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed: I am your retribution.”
It is that same sentiment, which more Americans are waking up to by the day, that continues to catalyze his support, and is the ultimate reason why Donald Trump’s claim to the Republican Party mantle now increasingly looks to be a foregone conclusion.
Read more by Paul Ingrassia here.
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