January 22 – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has dropped out of his run for the Republican nominee for president this November.
He is shifting his support to former president Donald Trump.
This leaves Trump and Nikki Haley vying for the nomination.
Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “I don’t know what more there really is to say about that. The traction was never really as strong as DeSantis had hoped it would be, spent a truckload of cash out in Iowa.”
Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “This is just a remarkable downfall because remember last year DeSantis was commonly looked at as the future of the Republican Party, but just ran a terrible campaign, never got any traction. He and his PACs spent hundreds of millions of dollars. His poll numbers actually went down as the campaign went on. So this will go down in history as just a remarkable episode. A lot of speculation that he got out to preserve his possibilities in 2028.”
DeSantis was polling around 6% in New Hampshire.
Barkdoll suggested, “Those votes will likely go to Trump because to the extent DeSantis and Trump had very similar policies and proposals, and most of the internal polling show that the DeSantis voters would go to Trump. DeSantis did endorse Trump. It was about a five minute video endorsement. Not the most ringing endorsement you’ll ever hear, by the way. He kind of says that, in so many words, that Trump is the lesser of two evils at this point, when it comes to he and Haley. He even criticized Trump’s support of Dr. Fauci and some things he did during COVID. But he did say he’s going to support him. He is not out campaigning with him today, and there’s no plans to do so, apparently.”
Trump and Haley will face off in New Hampshire tomorrow.
Barkdoll predicted, “If Trump wins by a huge margin and some polls suggest that may happen, it’s really starting to feel like this race is already over.”
A push poll on the NewsTalk 103.7FM app asks, does former President Trump go over 50% in the New Hampshire primary tomorrow? Sixty percent of the respondents said yes and 40% said no.
Ryan said, “The poll is easy to take. Get the app, get it on your phone. We’re interested in your opinion. Over the 50% mark is one that almost seals the deal, but doesn’t quite.”
Barkdoll said, “It is a very key metric. I mean, Trump did get about 51% in Iowa. The thinking is if he gets over 50% it shows that he has more than half of the support of Republican voters which would ice out these opponents. Now if he wins tomorrow at 46 or 47%, you’re going to see Haley make an issue of that and they’re going to go on to fight some more in South Carolina. There is reporting that Haley did a $4 million ad buy yesterday in South Carolina so apparently she is going to move on regardless.”
The New Hampshire polls have been kind of all over the place in their predictions.
Barkdoll said, “Most have Trump up by 10, 12 points, but there are a couple outliers that show Haley within three or four points. So it’s anybody’s guess tomorrow. It’s going to be a good weather day in New Hampshire tomorrow, too, which probably will boost turnout somewhat.”
Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “I think most of those polls were taken before this news had sunk in, so it’ll be interesting to see how the shift of DeSantis voters plays out. People are expecting, of course, most of them to go to Trump. As Haley said she wanted to make it a two person race, I don’t think that’s really going to be helpful, at least in the next primary.”
Barkdoll added, “The other thing that happened over the weekend, you may recall we asked the political vibe guests in New Hampshire about those newspaper endorsements, which back in the day, those newspapers were the kingmakers in New Hampshire politics. They have virtually no influence anymore, but for what it’s worth, that Times Union editorial board, they did endorse Nikki Haley yesterday. If you read the editorial, just scathing against Biden and Trump. They call them dinosaurs. They say it’s time for the country to move on, that we can’t afford another Biden or Trump administration. Probably does not move the needle much in New Hampshire. But if it moves it even 1% I’m sure Haley is welcoming that endorsement. She’ll probably try to make an issue of that today as she’s out on the trail.”