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Trump Will Always Dominate A Divided Field – Will It Narrow and Provide a Challenge?

Trump Will Always Dominate A Divided Field – Will It Narrow and Provide a Challenge?

As we saw in 2016, Trump has a way of pitting himself against the field with great advantage – Trump gets half the attention and the other half is divided among everyone else. He has never had to pit himself one on one in a Republican Primary. If the field narrows, and a candidate gets a substantial share of the polling results, could Trump find himself in a real race? Could the people who initially supported DeSantis go back to him? Could Nikki Haley ride her miniscule amount of momentum and start to build?

Former Vice President Mike Pence’s recent decision to suspend his 2024 presidential campaign was abrupt but hardly surprising. Pence’s departure leaves one burning question on the minds of political insiders and observers alike: which Republican contender will be the next to exit the 2024 GOP nomination race? The answer to this question, however, goes beyond mere speculation. It sheds light on a key dynamic in contemporary American politics – the enduring influence of former President Donald Trump.

Pence’s announcement was delivered at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting in Las Vegas. He stated, “I came here to say it’s become clear to me this is not my time,” emphasizing that he had reached this decision after much prayer and deliberation. While lesser-known candidates had already called it quits, Pence became the first major contender to suspend his campaign, signaling the beginning of a trend that many GOP insiders predict will continue.

“There’s no question others will follow suit. The question is one of timing,” remarked Matt Brooks, CEO of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC). Veteran Republican consultant and media strategist Ari Fleischer echoed this sentiment, noting that “consolidation is inevitable. It happens in every cycle… this field will shrink.”

Longtime Republican strategist David Kochel, who has extensive experience in presidential campaigns, added that Pence’s exit marked “the beginning of the winnowing of the field.” This trend is indicative of the challenges faced by candidates in a crowded primary race, where fundraising and polling thresholds become paramount.

Pence’s campaign had struggled to gain traction. He consistently polled in the mid to low single digits, and his fundraising efforts fell short of expectations. While he managed to qualify for the first two Republican presidential nomination debates, he still hadn’t met the criteria for the upcoming third debate, which raised concerns about his campaign’s viability.

Candidates like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former Ambassador Nikki Haley, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have already met the polling and donor thresholds for the debate. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina also announced that he had hit the criteria. However, candidates like North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, who failed to make the stage at the second debate, have yet to qualify.

The road ahead for the GOP contenders promises further challenges, but it also underscores the unique position occupied by former President Donald Trump. Trump’s presence looms large over the field, making him a constant topic of conversation. His ability to stay in the limelight and remain a central figure in the political discourse has the potential to outshine any individual candidate.

As Republican consultant Dave Carney, with over three decades of campaign experience, noted, “the money and the ego” will keep some candidates in the race. However, he predicts that by the beginning of next year, only four or five candidates will remain in the running, with Iowa and New Hampshire playing pivotal roles in shaping the field.

Moreover, the departure of Mike Pence has raised an intriguing question – where will his supporters turn? Pence had been a champion for social conservative voters, particularly among Iowa’s influential evangelicals. With his exit, contenders like Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, and Tim Scott may vie for the support of Pence’s backers. Tim Scott, in particular, has a natural appeal to voters who were leaning towards Pence due to his strong stance on social conservative issues.

In a political landscape increasingly dominated by Trump’s shadow, the crowded field of Republican candidates faces a challenging road ahead. While a divided field allows Trump to make himself half of every political conversation, a one-on-one or two-on-one contest presents a different dynamic – a genuine fight for the party’s nomination.

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1 Comment

  1. Joe lucas


  1. Frank I can’t understand what’s wrong with MAGA. You idiots on the left are satanic bastards out to destroy patriots.…

  2. Don’t tell me nout proof. I’m too Young to need proof. I don’t need no stinkin proof. We all know…