When it’s a two-man race with Trump, DeSantis is going to start winning places?


So the DeSantis strategy is to hope Nikki Haley comes up short in New Hampshire and then loses in South Carolina and is out of the race. These aren’t unreasonable assumptions when it comes to Haley’s failure, but it’s hard to see how they are going to translate into DeSantis’s success. He will have finished a disappointing second in Iowa, a distant third in New Hampshire, and, presumably, a not terribly impressive second or third in South Carolina, where he currently is also in a distant third. So, when it’s a two-man race with Trump, he’s going to start winning places? Where? How?

It made sense a while ago that DeSantis was the best shot against Trump because if he got out, a lot of his voters would go to Trump rather than to Haley. But at this point, do we think that Haley voters are going to go to DeSantis? It seems likely that a lot of them, disproportionately moderates and independents, will just not participate. The DeSantis and Haley voting blocs needn’t be mutually exclusive, but it seems that they’ve become so.

The best non-Trump scenario now is that Haley beats Trump in New Hampshire, while making surprising in-roads among Republican voters that suggest she can be competitive going forward…

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