With ten candidates, the top of the Republican Party is vying for the highest office. This race isn’t smart: Donald Trump remains the undisputed #1.
A flood of people in their 60s applied for the presidency of the United States this week. “In the presence of God and my family, I am running for office,” former Vice President Mike Pence, 64, said Wednesday in Iowa. “We need a leader who understands how seriously Americans work,” said Doug Burgum, 66, North Dakota’s governor. “I can’t guarantee that I will win,” said Chris Christie, 60, the former governor of New Jersey, on Tuesday. “But you will soon know who I am, what I stand for and whether I deserve it.”
With ten presidential candidates running, the Republican playing field is crowded. And only one person is reaping the benefits: Donald J. Trump. The more candidates, the better his chances of securing his party’s nomination. Seventeen months before the election, he was by far the most popular candidate, with 53 percent of the Republican vote, according to the latest polls. In second place is Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida. He has the support of 21 percent of Republicans. What a hole.
Precisely because the distance between Trump and DeSantis is so great, Republicans around the world see an opportunity to put their hands up. With a bit of luck they hope to knock the governor out of second place. Besides, there’s a lot of voters to beat: One in four Republicans don’t feel anything for Trump or DeSantis.
“It’s a big deal for DeSantis,” Republican strategist Dave Carney told me last week. New York times. “Whatever percentage they get in the end, they make it hard for the runners-up to win,” he said of the candidates at the bottom of the list. Several candidates are already breaking up the field. And more people can sign up next year, too.
Exactly what happened in 2016, when 17 Republicans ran for president. Against all odds, Donald Trump won the Republican nomination and then the US election. Not because he was so popular with voters, but because the anti-Trump people split their votes among the various candidates. While the other candidates basically fought back, Trump took the votes.
“It looks like we’re making the same mistake again,” former Maryland governor Larry Hogan told the Reuters news agency on Monday. This prominent Trump critic also wanted to confront him. Since there were already too many candidates, he decided not to. “Better to have a few strong candidates,” he said, “than ten who don’t all get enough attention.”
Big difference with 2016: Trump is now much more famous. For his fellow party members, it has become the toughest campaign issue. To harm him, they must attack him, but when they attack him, they enrage his constituents. Most elective solution: Dance around it.
Mike Pence disapproves of storming the Capitol, but he supports Trump. Ron DeSantis presents himself as a smarter version of Trump. South Carolina Senator Tim Scott wants to be a positive replacement for a negative Trump. Nikki Haley criticizes the choices Trump makes without naming him – she preys on his supporters.
The main hope is that the Trump problem may resolve itself. All of these new candidates know full well that a lot could happen between now and 2024. Despite the strength of Trump’s position, his candidacy could be challenged through the various criminal investigations against him. Other candidates hope to be in second or third place by then, thus absorbing his supporters.
Only Chris Christie chooses the opposite way. That was eight years ago amusing”, he said of the former president on Tuesday. He is one of the few who speak out strongly against Trump. By standing strong against Trump during his candidacy, he wants to reach out to “never Trumpers” and independent voters. “Now we see the last pains of an angry, bitter man who wants to regain power for himself.”
As Trump welcomed three new running mates this week, he appeared on social media more concerned about the investigations against him. “Nobody ever said I was a persecutor,” he wrote on the Truth Social on Thursday. “Nor should I, because I have done nothing wrong.”
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