In the latest New York Times/Siena College poll, Donald Trump has once again solidified his position as the frontrunner for the Republican nomination. With 54% of the vote, Trump is beating Florida Governor Ron DeSantis by a whopping 37 points. It seems like a coronation is in Trump’s future. However, it is important to note that just six months ago, Trump’s numbers were much weaker, hovering around 40% in national polls. In the crucial early states of Iowa and New Hampshire, where the other candidates are focusing their efforts, Trump’s numbers are still lackluster. Polls in these states consistently show him in the low 40s, while some even put him in the high 30s. Prominent figures in Iowa and New Hampshire have been saying for a while that an alternative to Trump is still possible.
— granitereport (@granitereport) August 4, 2023
As a self-proclaimed conservative tired of Trump’s antics, the writer of this article put their money where their mouth is and made a significant contribution to DeSantis’ campaign. However, doubts have begun to creep in. While DeSantis may give powerful speeches and perform well in interviews, his campaign’s financial situation is concerning. Despite raising $20 million in just a few weeks, DeSantis has already burned through a significant portion of it without even airing any ads. Much of the spending has gone towards an inflated staff and private airplane travel. Additionally, DeSantis has failed to establish a compelling campaign message that goes beyond cultural issues. Most Republicans are more interested in hearing about his economic plans rather than his opinions on niche topics. This lack of focus, coupled with unnecessary controversies, has caused a decline in DeSantis’ numbers, while Trump’s remain steady.
Given DeSantis’ struggles, it may be worth considering other potential candidates. One option is South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, who has already garnered double-digit support in Iowa polls. Scott’s religious faith could work to his advantage in Iowa, as evangelical voters often lean towards candidates who openly express their faith. He could appeal to this group without alienating secular voters in New Hampshire by taking a more measured approach to cultural issues. Additionally, Scott’s campaign has strong organizational structures and a healthy campaign fund. He has a proven track record of fundraising and has already started advertising, leading to positive results in both Iowa and New Hampshire polls.
While Scott has faced criticism from the Right for his stance on certain issues, his record as a conservative senator is solid. He has consistently voted in line with conservative values and has demonstrated his commitment to the Republican Party, despite facing backlash for it. Some may argue that he is too nice and lacks the assertiveness necessary for the presidency. However, it’s important to remember that successful senators like Barack Obama and John Kerry have transitioned into the role of president, proving that legislative experience can translate into effective executive leadership.
To truly solidify his candidacy, Scott needs to offer more policy details and outline his unique vision for the country. He has focused primarily on his biography, which is necessary for introducing himself to voters, but now is the time to differentiate himself from his opponents. As the race continues, conservatives should examine alternatives to Trump and consider Scott as a potential contender with the ability to beat the incumbent.