If the New York Times is to be believed, only a few more weeks remain for the Ron DeSantis campaign. With the Florida governor staking everything on Iowa, and Trump’s lead in the polls maintaining strong, the newspaper reported that the campaign has entered the “hospice” stage of its political life.
Outside of the Trump camp, liberal media outlets might be the most excited to see the demise of DeSantis.
The Daily Beast writes:
With only three weeks to go before voting begins in Iowa, the DeSantis campaign is moving from life support to hospice care, according to a brutal Sunday New York Times story, effectively amounting to the Republican Florida governor’s 2024 pre-obituary.
His longtime pollster and adviser, Ryan Tyson, has privately conceded the campaign is reaching the point where they can “make the patient comfortable,” according to The Times, which spoke to more than a dozen DeSantis advisers current and past from both the campaign and affiliated groups. (Tyson denied those remarks in the campaign’s response.)
Facing mounting pressure to drop out of the race, DeSantis will be off the campaign trail until Dec. 28.
The DeSantis campaign proper and Never Back Down super PAC have been in tumult amid a series of high-profile departures and a battle of egos between two entities legally prohibited from coordinating, as The Daily Beast reported on Wednesday. The Times also found DeSantis’ campaign is on track to spend more on private jet travel than TV ads by the time the caucus rolls around on Jan. 15.
According to AdImpact, the PAC has pulled ads from the airwaves in Iowa and New Hampshire, though DeSantis supporters have pointed to another PAC, Fight Right, which has focused on television ads while Never Back Down has focused on getting out the vote.
Conservative commentators have begun explaining what happened to the once-biggest challenger to the former president. Writer Kurt Schlichter wrote, “
His challenge was always that the people in the Party really like Donald Trump and think he is being persecuted and believe he should get another chance. They like Trump’s policies. They would just prefer him over anyone else, even someone is manifestly good as the much younger Ron DeSantis, who can run in the future.
Ron DeSantis has run as good a campaign as you can run facing that. It’s either beatable or not beatable, but there’s no one weird trick he didn’t do that would’ve change the outcome. It’s not his campaign. It’s not online influencers. Nor, in the end, was it the donor class, as dumb as it is. If Ron DeSantis loses it’s simply because Republican voters prefer Donald Trump again this cycle.”
Come on people. If @RonDeSantis ends up not winning the nomination this cycle, it’s not because there is something wrong with Ron DeSantis. In fact, the polls all show the people in the GOP base like Ron DeSantis.
His challenge was always that the people in the Party really like…
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) December 24, 2023
DeSantis has received endorsements from the two heavyweights of the Iowa primary, Governor Kim Reynolds and evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats, but polling has shown him in second place.
Supporters of the governor have noted that Iowa is known for notoriously “breaking late.” For example, in 2012, Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum was polling in the single digits on Christmas 2011 before winning the primary a few weeks later.