In a strategic move away from traditional campaign activities, former President Donald Trump is said to be shifting gears. Instead of participating in the upcoming third Republican primary debate, his focus seems to be firmly set on direct engagement with supporters.
Plans for a rally in bustling Hialeah, South Florida, about half an hour away from the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami-Dade County where his Republican rivals are expected to convene, are reportedly in the works.
Part of his strategy, it appears, is predicated on his significant lead over his competitors in the polls. This confidence has led him to question the real benefits of debating against candidates he views as far in his rearview mirror.
Several prominent figures within the party have qualified for the third Republican presidential debate on November 8, including Sen. Tim Scott, Gov. Chris Christie, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, Gov. Nikki Haley, and Governor Ron DeSantis.
As we approach the deadline set by the Republican National Committee (RNC) for podium qualification, and with 74 days left until the Iowa caucuses, some interesting stories are developing.
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, and Texan Ryan Binkley, a notable businessman, and pastor, are yet to secure a spot.
The Trump camp, with Chris LaCivita as the senior advisor, has voiced their concern to the RNC about the debates. He suggests that the time and resources expended on the debates would be better redirected towards a more achievable target: wresting the presidency from Joe Biden in the 2024 elections.
To him, the debates appear to be merely ceremonial due to Trump’s dominating presence in the polls.
In a distinct voice, Trump has echoed this sentiment on his Truth Social platform. With his significant polling lead, he views the debates as somewhat redundant. The ex-president has all but claimed the nomination, dismissing the debates as a fruitless endeavor.
Trump’s campaign coffers tell a revealing story of their own. Revelations from the third quarter indicate that his campaign raised an incredible $45.5 million, surpassing the already impressive influx of funds during the second quarter. Talks of a Trump resurgence seem more concrete than speculative.
This fundraising prowess suggests an exciting primary ahead, irrespective of debates. The Trump campaign reported a cash reserve of over $37.5 million, indicating a robust financial base on which to build an aggressive campaign strategy.
Governor Ron DeSantis, currently trailing behind Trump in most polls, has managed to raise $15 million in the third quarter. However, his cash reserves of $5 million for the ongoing primaries juxtapose markedly with Trump’s cash pile. Trump’s commanding fundraising lead could be indicative of his wider popularity within the party.
Trump’s campaign touted the massive grassroots movement behind their candidate. They excitedly announced that a vast majority of this resource (around $36 million) is earmarked specifically for the primary. The narrative of a Trump lead becomes more pronounced when considering these numbers.
A significant tumble in both finances and popularity is evident in Gov. DeSantis’ camp. In stark comparison to Trump’s exponential rise, DeSantis’ fundraising and polling numbers have witnessed a decline since July. Observers perceive this as a testament to Trump’s ability to consolidate support within the party.
Solidifying Trump’s poised stature within the party and reinforcing speculation about his inevitable nomination success, surveys have emerged comparing Trump and Biden in critical swing states. The narrative suggests that Trump, now seen as a political juggernaut, could quite easily retake the ticket in 2024.
Voters in strategically important states, including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin were surveyed. The results of this consultation by Bloomberg/Morning Consult indicated a 4 percentage point lead over Biden for Trump, mostly hinging on dissatisfaction with Biden’s handling of the economy.
Looking at the numbers in further detail, Trump is seeing encouraging figures in several states: he’s leading Biden by 5 points in Georgia, 4 points in Arizona and North Carolina, 2 points in Wisconsin, and 1 point in Pennsylvania. On the other hand, Biden shows a modest 3 point lead over Trump in Nevada, and both candidates are neck-and-neck in Michigan.
Finally, regarding the sentiment towards Biden’s economic policies, 49% of voters in these swing states expressed disapproval of what’s colloquially known as ‘Bidenomics’. In fact, 46% of undecided voters also expressed negativity about Biden’s economic agenda.
Couple this with a significant swath (14%) of 2020 Biden voters who say they’d vote for Trump or sit out the next election entirely, and it appears that 2024 might see a return ticket for the former President.