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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

The GOP Field

Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  The early stages of the 2024 race have begun.

Will a divided primary field help Trump as it did in 2016?  Nate Cohn at NYT

With Mike Pence and Chris Christie bringing the field up to 10 candidates this week, it’s easy to wonder whether the same conditions might be falling into place again. Despite high hopes at the start of the year, Ron DeSantis has failed to consolidate Trump-skeptic voters and donors alike. Now, the likes of Mr. Pence and Mr. Christie — as well as Tim Scott and Nikki Haley — are in the fray and threatening to leave the Trump opposition hopelessly divided, as it was seven years ago.

In the end, Mr. Pence or Mr. Christie might well break out and leave the opposition to Mr. Trump as fractured as it was in 2016. But it’s worth noting that, so far, the opposition to Mr. Trump has been far more unified than it ever was back then. It’s not 2016, at least not yet.

So far this cycle, polls have consistently shown Mr. DeSantis with the support of a majority of Republican voters who don’t support Mr. Trump. Nothing like this happened in that past primary, when at various points five different candidates could claim to be the strongest “not-Trump” candidate, and none came even close to consolidating so much of the opposition to Mr. Trump. Ted Cruz got there eventually, but only after a majority of delegates had been awarded and it was down to him and John Kasich.

Morning Consult:

  • DeSantis’ support is stagnant after launch: DeSantis trails Trump by 34 percentage points among GOP primary voters (22% to 56%), similar to his standing before he launched his campaign on May 24. A fourth of potential primary voters reported hearing something negative about DeSantis over the past week, the highest share since tracking began in late November.
  • Pence, Christie enter the 2024 race with meager support: Former Vice President Mike Pence, who filed paperwork to seek the GOP’s 2024 nod, is backed by 7% of potential Republican primary voters, similar to his standing since tracking began in December. Just 1% of the party’s prospective electorate supports former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in advance of his campaign launch.
  • Few primary voters know who Burgum is: Roughly 4 in 5 potential GOP voters (78%) have either never heard of or formed no opinion about North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who is expected to launch a presidential campaign this week.