[guest post by Dana]
Good question: Why can’t any of the Republican candidates overtake Trump? At this point in time, Trump is not yet unbeatable but the conditions in which he could be beaten are still far from materializing.
From the analysis:
All hope is not dead for Donald Trump’s Republican rivals, but anyone seeking to emerge as a genuine challenger must soon begin to coalesce opposition to the ex-president to slow his chase toward a third straight GOP nomination.
A new CNN/SSRS poll showing the ex-president’s big lead steady in the first primary state of New Hampshire, an escalation of the campaign in Iowa, and frustrations among donors over a bloated field that is splitting the anti-Trump vote are injecting new urgency into the race four months before voting starts.
“We’re talking about four months. Can you believe it?” the ex-president said during a trip to Iowa on Wednesday, claiming that his polling had gone up like a “rocket ship” and boasting about how he had carried the state twice in general elections.
This is about a lot more than a horse race. In this unprecedented election, Trump’s strength raises the possibility that Republicans could chose a candidate facing four criminal trials, who could be a convicted felon by the November 2024 election and is promising, in an outpouring of autocratic rhetoric, a presidency of retribution that would test the rule of law more than his first term.
And yet…here we are.
But for anyone to seriously damage the ex-president, in the Granite State and elsewhere, one candidate would need to emerge in a still bloated field as the choice of almost all voters who oppose him. With four months to go, there is no sign yet of any of the chasing pack being willing to cede their own ambitions in favor of their rivals in order to stop Trump. And if Trump does not take on severe damage in the first two contests, it’s hard to see how his momentum can be halted as the race turns south and to big state primaries loaded with nominating delegates.
The second GOP debate will be held on Sept. 27. Now down from eight candidates, six candidates have qualified, thus far, to be on stage (Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, Mike Pence, Tim Scott, Nikki Haley and Chris Christie). It is being reported that you-know-who will skip the debate and instead speak before a group of union workers in Detroit.
The latest polls:
GOP, you have a big problem. Still.