Jared Kamrass Comments On DeSantis Struggles as Trump Solidifies Hold on GOP Ahead of 2024

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Jared Kamrass explains that just weeks ago, it seemed like Gov. Ron DeSantis (FL) was positioned as well as anyone to take-on President Donald Trump, consolidate the Republican establishment and activist classes behind him, and cruise into the General Election against a struggling Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, says Jared Kamrass, Trump was mired in a malaise that was evident from the moment he announced his third attempt at the presidency. A low-energy announcement, followed by lackluster fundraising numbers, left the candidate and his nascent campaign feeling desperate and starting to flail. Trump’s campaign remarks were often screeds of his own grievances, rather than channeling the grievances of his audience. It seemed like the most improbably politician in a generation was headed toward an even more ignominious ending to his career than even his critics had imagined.

A lot can happen in a few weeks. Trump’s indictment from district attorneys in Manhattan as helped rally Republicans around him, sending his numbers in Republican primary early states skyrocketing. Meanwhile, DeSantis has seen some of his key agenda items in Florida thwarted: including being out-maneuvered by Disney, the iconic company that brings hundreds of millions to the state, and seeing state legislators fail to move on at least two of his agenda items in the legislative session this spring. Stories about the Governor’s lack of geniality and his bizarre idiosyncrasies have also seemed to take a toll on his public persona, which has largely been aided by carefully choreographed appearances, rather than through media interviews.

To make matters worse for DeSantis, says Jared Kamrass, the Trump campaign has successfully picked up endorsements of several erstwhile DeSantis allies in Florida, particularly members of the large and diverse congressional delegation. In particular, Freedom Caucus darling Byron Donalds and DeSantis’ congressional successor, Michael Waltz, have endorsed Trump, while other Trump endorsers from the delegation, such as Rep. Greg Steube have publicly commented that they haven’t heard from DeSantis and have no meaningful relationship with the Governor.

All of this, states Jared Kamrass, points to Donald Trump strengthening his grip on the GOP and coasting to his third straight presidential nomination. While this is music to the ears of Democratic operatives who see Trump as a uniquely good motivator of Democratic votes, the coronation of Trump delays the ability of the Republican Party to move on from their flawed standard bearer and wastes the talent and appeal of others in the Republican bench.

While DeSantis isn’t even a declared candidate yet, Republicans do feature a set of new voices that would be promising general election candidates if their voters were to rally behind one of them. Former U.S Ambassador and Governor Nikki Haley and Senator Tim Scott (both of South Carolina) are of a younger generation, people of color, and steadfast conservatives that can likely assemble a broader coalition. However, both are mired in the single digits in national primary polls and their shared base in South Carolina (an early primary state) make it likely they will cannibalize votes from each other, a type of mutually assured destruction.

Like everything in politics, the only thing certain about the current political dynamic is that it will change again, possibly within a few weeks. But a few fundamentals seem likely to be baked into the 2024 GOP Primary: the investigations and potential further indictments of Trump help him with primary voters and are only likely to continue, DeSantis seems to be unable to take the next step from conservative darling to bona fide presidential campaign, and the primary electorate just does not seem ready to take to the next generation of leaders.

This all points to perhaps the sleepiest nomination process for an-out-office party in decades with Trump’s ironclad grip on the party going into its second decade. If Trump were to once again be the party’s nominee in 2024, the impact will likely be the continued irreversible intertwining of Trumpism within the Republican Party. Win or lose, whenever Trump does exit the political scene, it will become harder for future party leaders to unwind his policies from party orthodoxy. The Trump Doctrine around immigration, trade, taxes, and isolationism that were mostly borne out of Trump’s own political expediency rather than any unifying school of ideology, is likely to become synonymous with Republican policy for a generation.


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