Sharp: Will the GOP Field Continue to Consolidate?

by | Jan 12, 2024 | Opinion

With Chris Christie suspending his long shot Presidential campaign on Wednesday, January 10, 202, many are asking who will be next.  Nikki Haley appears to be on a moderate upswing according to polling, while Ron DeSantis appears to be continuing his multi month race to obscurity. The online DeSantis surrogates have argued for months that polls are incorrect. They very well might be correct. I tend to pay much more attention to the polling trends rather than the polling percentage. Donald Trump is continuing to climb while Ron DeSantis continues to sink. 

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Haley and DeSantis have recently collided in a neck and neck race for 2nd place. As a former Floridian I have given a considerable amount of thought to the DeSantis campaign and where it goes from here. I believe Ron DeSantis must continue until the RNC Convention by any means necessary. Should he fail to do that he simply validates every opinion of him that has been spoken in MAGA circles. It has long been rumored that Ron DeSantis was never in the Presidential contest to win the nomination, but simply to burn through Trump’s campaign funds and energy in a vicious primary and leave him in a weakened state entering the General Election. The Super PAC created on behalf of Ron DeSantis was even titled Never Back Down. Dropping out of the race at this point would simply be backing down and prove this theory true.  

I wanted an additional opinion on the DeSantis campaign, so I reached out to 6th Generation Floridian and Pinellas County GOP member Brittany Parsons. She is of the opinion that “DeSantis was a threat until January, then people actually heard him speak”. She also believes that DeSantis should drop out after Iowa. From looking at campaign finance reports, it certainly appears that establishment Republican donors have shifted from DeSantis to Haley.  She appears to be locked in to continue until the nomination. Vivek Ramaswamy has campaigned valiantly, however we started with little to no name recognition. The hill was simply too steep to climb.  

If you have read most anything I have written, or watched any show that I have been on, its no secret that I am a staunch supporter of Donald Trump. That is never changing.  It may come as a surprise that I do not want to see Ron DeSantis withdraw from the Presidential contest. I would much prefer to see Ron DeSantis be a man of his word and continue to fight.  That’s what he promised to Floridians, and most recently to Americans. As Thomas Massie so eloquently says “The process is the punishment”. DeSantis has chosen to participate in the process and now he must reap the harvest, whatever that may be.  

My prediction is that Donald Trump will be victorious in next week’s Iowa Caucus, and despite a last-minute push from Haley, will also be victorious in New Hampshire. Two early Trump victories will make surviving through South Carolina treacherous with the extended time period of 41 days in this year’s cycle. My hope is that any candidate who truly loves America and is running for the highest office in the land will find the hustle to push through. Should they not, a significant portion of my theories will be proven correct. 

Follow Tim Sharp on X at @realtimsharp.

NEXT: Book Review: Karin Lips’ New Book ‘You’re Not Alone: The Conservative Woman’s Guide to College’ Spots the Challenges on America’s College Campuses

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