While election day in 2023 is 4 weeks away, most major media outlets and political pundits along with both major parties remain hyper focused on the future 2024 presidential contest for the White House. In the Republican party primary, the former president Donald Trump maintains a sizable lead over a crowded cluster of rival candidates. While the second GOP debate occurred on September 27th in Milwaukee, the former 45th commander in chief skipped out on the affair. Trump, maintaining a 45-point lead over his nearest challenger, Ron DeSantis, feels that he does not need to even entertain an audience with rival candidates. While he faces four criminal indictments, Trump retains the vast majority of support from GOP voters.
In a desperate, last-ditch attempt to gain political traction, Ron DeSantis, polling at a distant second place, is moving 33% (or one third) of his campaign staff to Iowa as he attempts to gain ground in the decisive caucus primary. Iowa is the first state for primary voting for Republicans, and this may very well be the Florida Governors last chance to turn the tide of campaign before it is too late. DeSantis for a time appeared to be the only real threat to Trump; in early 2023 there was even a period when the formerly popular governor enjoyed support by some 40% of Republicans. Regardless, his poll numbers disintegrated over the spring and summer months, and Trump has decisively and nearly run away with the nomination.
Unless a serious and significant shift in voter opinions occurs, the efforts of DeSantis and other rival candidates will likely be for naught. The Republican voting base remains decidedly behind Trump. This fact remains amidst all of the negative media coverage, increasing baggage and sheer unpopularity that the New York business mogul carries among crucial moderate voters. Only time will tell how the next several months and the year before the election eventually plays out.