Ron DeSantis says Trump and Biden are too old to be president
Donald Trump is pulling ahead in Iowa ahead of the state’s caucuses on 15 January.
With only five weeks left to go, the former president’s support passed 50 per cent for the first time during the 2024 campaign, according to a poll by the Des Moines Register, NBC News, and Mediacom, in which 51 per cent of the respondents said Mr Trump was their top choice.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is at 19 per cent in the survey while former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is at 16 per cent.
Biotech entrepreneur and anti-woke author Vivek Ramaswamy received about five per cent in the poll, with former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie being the only other candidate polling at more than one per cent.
“Iowa is the least predictable,” Ann Selzer, a prominent Iowa pollster, previously told The Independent. “We look at the largest number of candidates.”
“It should be impossible to poll caucuses accurately because they’re designed for things to change at the very last moment,” she added.
Where the Republican candidates stand on Donald Trump
The field of Republican candidates has winnowed significantly since the beginning of the campaign, going from eight hopefuls appearing on the stage during the first primary debate to just four in the fourth showdown.
Biotech entrepreneur and anti-woke author Vivek Ramaswamy has been mimicking him while at times struggling to explain why he’s running against a man he has called “the best president of the 21st century”.
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been creative in finding different ways to call Mr Trump a wildly incompetent and dangerous criminal.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has argued that he would be a more competent, and most importantly, younger, version of the ex-president who would be able to run again in 2028.
Former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley initially instituted the “pro-having it and pro-eating it” cake policy of disgraced former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson when it came to Mr Trump, attempting to remain on the fence and not annoy either Republicans supportive or critical of the former president. More recently, she has become slightly more outspoken in her criticism.
Gustaf Kilander6 December 2023 22:00
Trump allies threaten criminal charges against media if elected
On his War Room podcast on Tuesday, former White House adviser and far-right activist Steve Bannon asked Trump loyalist Kash Patel whether he can “deliver the goods” and “get rolling on prosecutions” should Mr Trump win election in 2024.
“And I want the Morning Joe producers that watch us and all the producers to watch us – this is not just rhetoric. We’re absolutely dead serious,” Bannon said. “The deep state, the administrative state, the fourth branch of government never mentioned in the Constitution, is going to be taken apart, brick by brick, and the people that did these evil deeds will be held accountable and prosecuted, criminal prosecutions.”
Patel said a team of “all-American patriots” in all levels of government in a potential Trump administration beginning in 2025 will “come after” members of the press that he claims have “lied about American citizens” and “helped Joe Biden rig presidential elections.”
“We’re going to come after you, whether it’s criminal or civilly, we’ll figure that out,” said Mr Patel, who joined the Trump administration in 2019 as a dubiously qualified intelligence official.
Alex Woodward6 December 2023 20:00
Trump doubles down on claim that his gaffes are ‘sarcastic’
The former president has repeatedly raged at the suggestion that he, at the age of 77, is not as sharp as he used to be.
During a Fox News town hall on Tuesday night, Mr Trump said: “I’ll say our real president is Barack Hussein Obama – they’ll say ‘he doesn’t know who the president is, he thinks it’s Barack Hussein’ – no, I’m being sarcastic.”
“Whenever I sarcastically insert the name Obama for Biden as an indication that others may actually be having a very big influence in running our Country,” Mr Trump wrote in the post on 27 November.
“Ron DeSanctimonious and his failing campaign apparatus, together with the Democrat’s Radical Left ‘Disinformation Machine,’ go wild saying that ‘Trump doesn’t know the name of our President, (CROOKED!) Joe Biden. He must be cognitively impaired.”
Graeme Massie, Gustaf Kilander6 December 2023 19:00
Trump allies defend his ‘day one’ dictatorship: ‘All he needs’
During an event on Fox News billed as a town hall on Tuesday, host Sean Hannity gave him a chance to clarify that “under no circumstances, you are promising America tonight, you would never abuse power as retribution against anybody.”
His supporters and campaign have framed his comments as a joke to attack his critics, a defence that has tried to rewrite and undermine his own words and actions over the last several months, including his explicit promises of a campaign of retribution and political vengeance against his rivals.
Hours before the town hall, his allies Steve Bannon and Kash Patel promised that another Trump administration would “come after” his political opponents and the media.
“We will go out and find the conspirators, not just in government but in the media,” said Mr Patel, a former Trump-era intelligence official who is reportedly considered for another high-level role in a potential Trump White House. “We’re going to come after the people in the media who lied about American citizens, who helped Joe Biden rig presidential elections. We’re going to come after you.”
Alex Woodward6 December 2023 18:16
Poll shows Donald Trump dominating GOP field as rivals sputter
The ex-president remains atop the GOP field in a major way, having consolidated support from six in 10 Republican voters nationally according to a NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ poll released on Monday. Though Mr Trump will not appear this Wednesday for the debate held by NewsNation alongside his GOP fellows, his decision to skip the 2023-24 debate cycle appears to not have hurt his chances in the slightest.
Indeed, the poll shows few pieces of good news for his opponents. Mr DeSantis and Ms Haley are statistically tied, at 11 and 10 per cent respectively, while the former president’s base of support appears to trust him more on the most important issues to voters this year, including the economy.
Mr DeSantis, who has seen his campaign flagging for months, remains the second choice of a much wider segment of the party than any other candidate. But even that suggests that his base is more closely aligned with Mr Trump’s, and suggests that the former president’s support could surge even higher were the Florida governor to drop out.
John Bowden5 December 2023 13:13
Who qualified for the fourth GOP debate?
The debate will be broadcast on NewsNation, a subscription-based network, and it will be streamed online on Rumble, the video-hosting site mainly used by right-wing voters. The first three debates were hosted by Fox News, Fox Business, and NBC News.
To qualify, candidates had to acquire 80,000 donors – at least 200 from 20 states and territories – and at least six per cent support in at least two national polls or one national survey and two polls from the early states – Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.
Former President Donald Trump has also qualified but he’s not expected to attend. He skipped the first three debates. The ex-president will instead attend a fundraiser for his Make America Great Again (MAGA) super PAC in Florida, Reuters reported.
Mr Trump isn’t planning on counter-programming the debate with his own event as he has done previously, Trump co-campaign manager Chris LaCivita said, according to the news agency.
The campaign of former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has said that they’ve fulfilled “all” the criteria to qualify, by the Republican National Committee has yet to confirm if he will appear on stage.
While Alabama is a deeply red state where Republicans easily win statewide races against Democrats, it does host a somewhat early primary contest on 5 March.
Gustaf Kilander4 December 2023 18:31
Was Ron DeSantis lacklustre campaign doomed from the start?
The Florida governor was “Trump without the baggage,” a far-right fighter ready to rumble with the “radical left” and govern more productively than the chaotic reality TV star, blustering real estate mogul and grievance-filled showman.
In a race against the oldest president in US history, being born in the late 1970s instead of the mid-1940s would also be helpful. Part of the thinking was that Mr DeSantis could win the White House by simply standing next to President Joe Biden on the debate stage and not looking old.
Gustaf Kilander4 December 2023 15:14
DeSantis, Haley tied for second as Trump remains far ahead
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley are virtually tied for second place while former President Donald Trump remains far ahead in GOP primary polling.
A NewsNation and Decision Desk HQ poll gave Mr DeSantis a slim lead – 11 per cent to Ms Haley’s 10 per cent. Mr Trump received 60 per cent in the poll.
Biotech entrepreneur and anti-woke author Vivek Ramaswamy received about six per cent, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie got about three per cent and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum each got one per cent or less.
The poll surveyed 1,090 self-identified Republican voters between 26 and 27 November.
Gustaf Kilander4 December 2023 15:06
Biden now holds slight lead over Trump in new national poll
A survey of American citizens taken last week shows President Joe Biden holding a very slim advantage over former president Donald Trump in a hypothetical national popular vote matchup, even as respondents remain unimpressed by a re-run of the 2020 presidential election.
The poll of 1,500 US citizens was commissioned by The Economist and conducted by YouGov from 25 November to 27 November. It found that of the 1,500 respondents, 44 per cent of them said they would cast ballots for the 46th President were the 2024 election to be held at the time they were surveyed.
By contrast, 42 per cent of respondents said they would cast a ballot for Mr Trump.
The positive result for Mr Biden comes amid continuing questions over whether he can reassemble the broad, multiethnic coalition that powered his 2020 victory over Mr Trump.
Indeed, a full 22 per cent of respondents expressed doubt over whether they believe Mr Biden president will win next year. By contrast, 44 per cent said they believe Mr Trump will win.
Andrew Feinberg4 December 2023 14:50
Trump far ahead in national GOP primary polling average
- Donald Trump – 59.9%
- Ron DeSantis – 12.4%
- Nikki Haley 9.8%
- Vivek Ramaswamy 5.1%
- Chris Christie 2.9%
- Doug Burgum 0.9%
- Asa Hutchinson 0.7%
Gustaf Kilander27 November 2023 19:41