Ron DeSantis is Kinda Smart: A Republican Primary Update
By Charles Chamberlayne
January 3, 2024
ANNOUNCER: Live from San Diego, this is the Box 5 Morning News at 7
HOST RAOUL MARTINEZ: Former president Donald Trump wins the New Hampshire primary.
HOST SHALLY ZOMORODI: Fox 5 political analyst Charles Chamberlayne breaking down where the race stands this morning. Charles good morning always good to see you. This surprising considering that there were so many Independents who voted?
CHARLES CHAMBERLAYNE: No. If you look at the polling, he was supposed what is surprising that he didn't win by more. Nikki Haley actually did pretty well she just didn't do well enough. I think the final numbers came out to Trump was at 54.6% and Haley's at 43.2%, so she's short maybe 30,000 votes. But, if you think about it when we were talking last week he was ahead by 30 points. And here it's 10, but still it's not enough. This was supposed to be where she was supposed to do well. She did do well amongst Independents and Undeclared folks garnering about 70% of that vote, but Trump killed it when it came to Republicans. Also doing three out of four people, who consider themselves Conservative Republican.
MARTINEZ: He got him three out of four. For the mathematically challenged, that's 75%. That's huge. Let's talk a little bit more about Nikki Haley. A lot has happened in her campaign to have the good showing not good enough, but the good showing in New Hampshire. Moving on to South Carolina. She was the governor there. She was popular there. One would think, if she can't win that state, the primary where she grew up, and she was the governor, it's over. Is it? Does she have to win South Carolina
CHAMBERLAYNE: She has to, but it don't look good. Right now, she's polling around 25%. Trump's over 60.
MARTINEZ & ZOMORODI: in South Carolina.
CHAMBERLAYNE: So yeah, that's a hard cookie to crumble. I mean, she's got a way to go. She's got a month. We'll see how that goes, but that's why you see a lot of folks starting to get behind Trump. The question is where are we going to start to see the money go. If she starts pulling those campaign activities, then we'll know okay it's time to slow it up. But it for all intents and purposes, it's over.
ZOMORODI: Wow, speaking of it's over, over the weekend you know we heard the announcement about Ron DeSantis ending his campaign. Why did you think he did that over the weekend?
CHAMBERLAYNE: Well, two reasons. The first reason is infrastructure. He put all of his chips in the middle of the table when it came to Iowa and he didn't have anything left for New Hampshire and or South Carolina. So, he's out. The other thing is, he's kind of smart. Look, the folks that are running right now realize that Trump, if he's elected, he's only going to be there for four years. That means get in line and start auditioning for the VP slot. I think a lot of folks you're seeing get behind Trump now, they're standing in line with their with audition cards seeing if they can be the president come 2028.
MARTINEZ: You mentioned the VP slot. Trump said that he already has the person picked. He says he already knows who it is. We haven't announced anything obviously. But, you see Tim Scott behind him, you see Vivek behind him as well. Do we know who's going to be the vice president? I'm asking you to speculate a little bit on this. Who do you think?
CHAMBERLAYNE: There's a lot of great candidates out there. A lot. He's mentioned that he would like to see a woman. Elise Stefanik of New York. You've got Kristi Noem, the governor of South Dakota. You've got Marsha Blackburn in Tennessee, so there's a lot of different folks that their names are floating out there. And look, Trump's going to keep us on our toes he knows when to release that information and when's the best time to do it. If I'm him, I release it when you start to see Joe Biden gets momentum to kind of push him back a little bit. Keep him on his heels.
ZOMORODI: Interesting. There are many after his presidency, after Trump's presidency, spoke out and said that he should not be taking office again. But, there are people backing him now and saying that he should. Are you surprised?
CHAMBERLAYNE: Yeah, it is quite surprising, but I guess if you were to talk to hardcore conservatives and or Republicans, he's always been their candidate of choice. His base is so hardened on him, they're just immovable. He's unlike any candidate we've ever seen in the entire in our entire lives. And even before then probably. It's unprecedented how he's been able to kind of go through what he's gone through in terms of these legal trials and in terms of the indictments.
MARTINEZ: That are ongoing…
CHAMBERLAYNE: …that are ongoing that he's in the middle of right now and still come out on top. It's just nothing like… all conventions just throw them out the window when it comes to him.
MARTINEZ: I say all convention is out the window. How much studying of what he is doing is happening right now for future candidates? Because this is fascinating. I remember I think it was in 2016 where he said something about he could shoot somebody in Time Square and it wouldn't matter. He would still get elected. He is proving that statement right that everything he has done. The voters support him and they continue to vote for him.
CHAMBERLAYNE: I think you're already starting to see that that's what we saw in DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy. These kind of mini-Trumps come about, but even if you look globally there's other Trump-like figures in other countries as well that are popping up. He's changing all conventions and I think we're going to see a lot more studies and more candidates that appear to kind of have this strong brand like him.
ZOMORODI: So where are we now? What happens next in in this race?
CHAMBERLAYNE: Well, Nikki Haley is moving her eyes to South Carolina, but that actually isn't the next race. The next race is actually Nevada on November 6th and November 8th. I'm sorry February 6th and February 8th. They're going to have their primary and their caucus. There's a kind of a bit of dissension happening amongst the Republican Party in the state because of the election issues they had last year. The state said look we're going to hold a state-run election and the party said no we're going to do our caucus and the delegates are going to be sent through the caucus. Believe it or not, Nikki Haley isn't on the isn't on the ballot for the caucus, so she has no chance of winning any of those delegates. That's why Trump claimed that he's already won Nevada.
MARTINEZ: Yeah. And and Biden wasn't on the New Hampshire… people were like wait what?
CHAMBERLAYNE: Biden had a unique victory of his own. Remember he's run for president four times. This is the first time he's ever won New Hampshire and he won it with the write-in ballot.
MARTINEZ: How about that? it's getting more interesting by the minute.
CHAMBERLAYNE: For sure.
ZOMORODI: To say the least.
MARTINEZ: I tell you what. Political science courses must be like… I may have to take one of them. I'm going to audit one of these political science courses moving forward. Charles Chamberlayne, thank you very much.
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