by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Rich Lowry: So, Charlie, in your view, what are the percentage odds at this moment that Ron DeSantis will win the Republican presidential nomination?
Charles C. W. Cooke: I think he has a slightly higher chance than he did before. I think on reflection, he won the first debate, or at least he came out of it in the best position. I’ve heard from a number of people in Iowa that while Trump is undoubtedly winning, the support is softer than the polls often make it look. And I think that this hurricane is going to provide DeSantis with an opportunity to show what he is good at, which is administration. DeSantis is not Ronald Reagan. He lacks his warmth. He’s not Bill Clinton. He lacks the interest in people, but he is very good at being an executive. I think the arrival of Hurricane Ian last year helped DeSantis win as big as he did. I think there are a lot of people who aren’t so political who looked at his response and thought that it was impressive. So, I would put him now maybe at 30 percent. …
… Noah Rothman: I’m gonna say I agree with Charlie that he’s still behind the eight ball, but 35 percent maybe.
Rothman: Maybe 40 percent, somewhere along those lines. I’ve been saying for a long time that I think Trump’s support is softer than it looks in the polls. It’s very deep in the middle, the 25 percent who are his base, but shallow around the sides. …
… Michael Brendan Dougherty: I’m totally with Noah. I think DeSantis is either 40 or 45 percent for the nomination. I think Trump is 40 percent.
Lowry: You think DeSantis has a higher chance of winning than Trump?
Dougherty: Yeah, I think, Trump’s indictments weigh on him. I think that there is just air coming out of the Trump balloon.