The candidate who most believed was the next president of the United States is now on life support… that being Ron DeSantis.
After DeSantis won his re-election bid as the Governor of Florida, he was in a dead heat with Donald Trump and appeared to be on the rise.
The Trump campaign then started a vicious attack against DeSantis to which DeSantis never responded because he was not officially in the race… and now it appears his campaign is in its final days.
I stated before that I understand why DeSantis took so long to declare, but I never understood why he did not start fighting back sooner against the attacks by Donald Trump.
Delaying his response gave Trump months to attack him, and it eventually took its toll, to where Trump had doubled, then tripled his lead against DeSantis.
By the time DeSantis announced, he was losing the race by about 30 points and never recovered. Adding to that, the DeSantis campaign stumbled a bit out of the blocks, setting him back even further and adding more ammunition to the Trump attacks.
DeSantis’ campaign has pretty much written off New Hampshire and is focusing on Iowa, putting all of his eggs into that basket hoping he can pull off a win and deal a significant blow to Trump, but in the process, he has ceded second place in New Hampshire to Haley and third place to Chris Christie, who is not even polling at 5% nationally.
DeSantis is still in second place nationally, but barely, leading Haley by less than 1% now. He remains in second place in Iowa, but again, by only 2.7%, trailing Trump by 31.6%, even though Trump has barely spent any time in the state and DeSantis has visited every county.
How did DeSantis get here? Well, it is actually a pretty simple explanation.
Since he is still governor of Florida, DeSantis has had far more travel than the other candidates, often flying back and forth via private jet on a daily basis, eating up a huge chunk of his campaign funds.
Then there is the monumental amount of negative attack ads that have been taken out against him not only from Trump, but from Democrats, Haley, and Ramaswamy. In addition, there are the attacks by SuperPACs that he has faced to the tune of $35 million, more than all of the other presidential candidates combined.
Not only are Democrats scared of this man, but every candidate in the race knew that if they wanted to take on Trump, they had to get DeSantis out of the way first.
DeSantis’ primary PAC, Never Back Down, has been a hot mess from the outset, which resulted in massive turnover down the stretch, leaving the PAC and DeSantis campaign in total disarray.
Never Back Down recently pulled back its ad spend in Iowa, refocusing all of its efforts on its ground game. The ads are now being picked up by another DeSantis PAC, Fight Right.
Unfortunately for DeSantis, the Never Back Down cancelation is what made the news, with the announcement by Far Right going widely unreported, which, of course, the Trump campaign pounced on.
DeSantis will not drop out before Iowa… of that I am sure. But I don’t see him being around any longer than Super Tuesday, if he lasts that long. Iowa is up first on January 15, then New Hampshire on the 23rd.
That will take us into February, where Nevada starts off the month on the 6th, followed by South Carolina on the 24th, where Haley will have a significant edge over DeSantis.
If DeSantis is not in second place after Nevada, there is really no need for him to stay in the race heading into South Carolina because he knows he will lose badly there, so I am going to guess that he drops out somewhere between Iowa and South Carolina.
It’s sad, really, because I think the damage done to DeSantis will go far beyond this election and possibly end his political career once his run as governor is over.
The crazy thing about all of this is that had DeSantis waited until 2028, Trump would have fully endorsed DeSantis. Instead, Trump chose to ruin the man, one of the best candidates we have in the GOP right now, because Trump believes that DeSantis “owed” his political career to Trump and should have sat on the sidelines at the height of his popularity and allowed Trump to run unopposed.
It’s ironic, really, that Trump has always complained about how “nasty” politicians can be, yet he used those very tactics to take out the man that many had dubbed the future of the Republican Party.