National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) chairman Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) is calling on everyone but former President Donald Trump to drop out of the 2024 GOP presidential primary and coalesce behind Trump.
“I was surprised, but I think that’s the right move,” Daines said, according to Politico, when former Vice President Mike Pence dropped out of the race on Saturday at the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) event in Las Vegas, Nevada.
NEW: NRSC Chairman Steve Daines, who is backing trump, said Trump’s rivals should drop out and coalesce, following Pence’s suspension
“it’s clear President Trump is going to be the nominee” https://t.co/NsFcdCHHUU
— Alex Isenstadt (@politicoalex) October 28, 2023
“Because it’s clear President Trump is going to be the nominee for Republicans for president, and the sooner we coalesce around him the better it’s going to be,” Daines added.
Daines has already endorsed Trump, but this is a significant escalation from one of the party’s top leaders in the Senate. As NRSC chairman, Daines oversees party spending and resources decisions on U.S. Senate races—and has been very active in recruiting key Senate candidates nationwide as Republicans embark on an effort to retake the majority in the upper chamber of Congress.
Calling for the other Republicans like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, and more to drop out of the race and coalesce behind Trump—and predicting Trump will be the GOP nominee—is an even bigger move than just endorsing Trump. It’s a party heavyweight aiming to steer the conversation towards what almost everyone believes to be inevitable, but many in donor-connected circles and establishment consultant enclaves refuse to thus far admit: Trump will be the GOP nominee for president again for the third straight presidential election.
Trump’s meteoric rise in 2016 infuriated many in the political establishment, and obviously in 2020 as the incumbent president at the time, he was the party nominee again. But in 2024, many in that same establishment that were spurned by Trump’s 2016 victory had hoped things would go differently. Alas, they have not: Trump’s grip on the party remains as firm as ever, maybe even stronger than before. Poll after poll shows Trump annihilating DeSantis, Haley, and the rest of them. Whether it’s national polls showing Trump’s lead at or near 50 percent, or the litany of state polls, including every early states where Trump’s lead is similarly as wide, Trump is clearly the runaway frontrunner for the party’s presidential nomination—and nobody else is even close to having a shot at closing the gap against him. What’s more, general election polls signal Trump leading incumbent Democrat President Joe Biden in several key states—and outperforming his GOP rivals against the weakened Democrat as well.
The Trump team has mocked DeSantis relentlessly for the last two months for its self-imposed clock on a DeSantis comeback: Sixty days, per his super PAC “Never Back Down,” has come and gone without any semblance of movement towards DeSantis. In fact, DeSantis is actually performing worse now than he was when that clock started. It’s so bad for DeSantis that he’s now locked in a tit-for-tat with Haley, the two of them duking it out with each other instead of with Trump—seemingly fighting for whichever person will have a shot at coming in second place.
There are some in either camp–Haley or DeSantis–who hope for a one-on-one battle with Trump. But even there, Trump polls well into double digits against them both–and in many cases, actually grows his lead higher than when facing a crowded field.
Nobody has laid a finger on Trump, and nobody has been able to cut into his gargantuan lead. It’s not for a lack of trying. DeSantis keeps testing attacks on his old political ally; so does Haley. Christie is pretty straightforward with his own. Pence regularly criticized the very underpinnings of Trump’s ideology. None of it is working, and nobody expects it to.
It’s so embarrassing for the rest of the field that Trump has refused to debate them, instead holding his own counter-programming events during each of the first two debates—a pattern he intends to repeat when the third debate comes up in early November.
The Iowa caucuses are less than 90 days away now, and nothing seems to be breaking away from Trump or towards anyone else—so they all appear to be hangers-on. But none of them are breaking through. Eventually, push will come to shove and Trump will have actual election results to point to—so the game of running with no path to victory for the others will end. But the question is whether they will end things honorably and on their own terms now, like Pence did, or whether they will wait it out to get roundly defeated at the ballot box. Barring some major unforeseen essentially magical shift in the trajectory of things, though, Daines is absolutely correct—and his point about calling for the party to unify sooner rather than later is a good one. The Republicans–regardless of who their nominee for president is and who their nominees for other offices, like Senate seats, are– have a country to save and elections to win, and the sooner they get their internal party differences put aside, the sooner they can focus exclusively on the Democrats.
But what’s perhaps most refreshing about this move from Daines is that it is not actually bold or even unfair to the also-rans. It is basically what almost every Republican nationwide is thinking. GOP voters around America are a lot savvier than this consultant or that adviser telling this candidate or that one to craft a carefully-worded statement about this or that. No, the voters inherently understand what’s coming next year, and it’s the most epic rematch in history. That’s what makes Daines’ statement so invigorating: The games are over, it’s time to get to work. The general election is looming.
Originally Posted at : www.breitbart.com