After the second televised debate between the Republican candidates for next year’s US presidential elections, two observations stand out: Despite his attempt to show more teeth in the face of Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been presented for months as Trump’s former president. The president’s most dangerous rival finally rose to the occasion Wednesday evening, but too little, too late to slow his downfall.
As for this gathering of presidential candidates, organized by Fox, it certainly allowed a few of them to make a good impression, but perhaps not enough to stop the most prominent absentee from the debate, Donald Trump, in his race to win the Republican ticket. once again.
“It is still too early to make predictions [sur l’issue de la primaire républicaine en cours]But Ron DeSantis’ chances are lower today than they were at the beginning of the race, as he said in an interview with duty Political scientist Stephen Craig, professor at the University of Florida. He inflicted many injuries on himself by making several mistakes in his campaign. He also tried to distinguish himself from Trump by trying to overtake him from the right, when in reality he should have focused less on his ideological purity and more on the electability of his opponent, “plagued by numerous court lawsuits.”
On Wednesday evening, from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, the elected official from Florida sought to ward off fate by directly attacking the former president for the results of his time in the White House. A direct attack that contrasts with the cowardice shown for months by populist opponents in the race who seek to avoid alienating Trump’s electoral base. pattern ? They need her to rise to the top of their party first, and then to the top of the country, after that.
“Where is Joe Biden? Ron DeSantis asked in the opening of the discussion. He lacks leadership. But do you know who else is missing? Donald Trump, who should be there on stage this evening to defend his record. » A budget that contains, in his words, Trump’s contribution to the American debt amounting to “7.8 billion dollars” during his presidency, “which opened the way to the inflation that we are currently experiencing.” A- He initiated it.
Where is Joe Biden? He lacks leadership. But do you know who else is missing? Donald Trump.
Ironically, Joe Biden seized on the Republican governor’s strongly worded statement and issued it immediately On the X network, previously Twitter, accompanied by a simple phrase: “Completely agree. »
But this change in tone for Ron DeSantis may not necessarily change the course of his political career, believes Dennis Goldford, a political science professor at Drake University in Iowa. In this state, Republican candidates will face their first electoral challenge next January, within the current nomination race.
“Ron DeSantis has tried to present himself as more Trump than Trump, but so far he hasn’t succeeded,” Goldford said from Des Moines, where he is a Republican. duty Join him. He had a relatively easy re-election in Florida last year [au poste de gouverneur du troisième État du pays par sa population] He may have misled him into thinking he was a better candidate than he actually was. The problem is that Republicans simply don’t find him likable, while Trump, despite his many failings, still has some magic in their eyes. »
Power of numbers
Voting intentions attest to this. CBS’s latest YouGov opinion barometer confirms Donald Trump has a 30-point lead over Ron DeSantis in the upcoming Iowa Republican caucuses. A University of New Hampshire poll conducted for CNN last week placed the Florida politician in fifth place in this state, behind the former president, far ahead at 39%, but also behind the growing number in this state. Vivek Ramaswamy, former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
“The race for the Republican candidates has not fundamentally changed,” political commentator Osita Nwanevu summed up in its pages. British daily newspaper WatchmanThis followed the discussion that took place on Wednesday evening. Donald Trump […]He is now a heroic figure in the Republican party, and still continues to maintain a vast advantage over his rivals who evidently cannot hope for anything other than the hand of God, and even then, his removal. »
Three and a half months before the Iowa caucuses, and the day after a debate in which the main winner was almost certainly the main absentee, Donald Trump, it seems impossible to slow the populist’s dramatic progress. But it is not inevitable yet, Dennis Goldford believes. He added: “In politics, a week is a long time.” It is true that Trump is emerging as the Republican nominee at this point, but the race is not over yet. »
Next week, the trial of Donald Trump, accused of lying about the value of his companies’ assets, is scheduled to begin in New York. On Tuesday, Judge Arthur Engoron of Manhattan also recognized the strength of the case, which the populist is seeking to have invalidated, arguing that the latter believes his real estate empire was actually built on several decades of fraud.
After a series of stunning indictments, the leading Republican candidate will have to face justice in the coming months for attempting to rig the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia in his favor, inciting an insurrection against the Capitol on January 6, 2021 and for illegally storing classified documents at his residence. Private at Mar-a-Lago, after leaving the White House.
“At this moment, any prediction would be risky,” says Stephen Craig. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens in the coming months. »
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