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Total Disaster for Ron DeSantis' Launch

Okay, folks. Here's the skinny. First of all, let's talk about context and background before we get into what happened tonight and why the spin from supporters is particularly amusing.

"Influencers" and "surrogates" have argued for two months as DeSantis has collapsed that something would change when he entered the race. "Wait until he announces" and "DeSantis hasn't even announced yet" were daily responses to his declining poll numbers, refusing to acknowledge that a distrust starting with his flipflop and inauthentic answers on Ukraine started by Tucker planted a deep seed of distrust among voters.

Putting aside the technical issues tonight, the campaign has repeatedly put off this overly built-up announcement for weeks, changing expected dates and pretending it was strategic. The truth is that there were doubts and concerns amid donors' and straight campaign incompetence.

The linked article brings me to my second point. The scrapping of his announcement in his "tiny Tampa hometown suburb" was not strategic, it was a failure that led to a tone deaf decision to change the venue to the VERY POPULIST "Four Seasons" for mega donors' comforts. In lieu of that tiny suburb where he grew up, he would instead turn to the Biden supporting Elon Musk to lend him the power of Twitter to amplify his announcement and message.

That brings us to the finale of this total disaster of an "announcement", which was supposed to be so powerful and persuasive it would change the trajectory of the race. It was plagued by technical issues and crashed in Twitter Spaces. Team DeSantis and Twitter "Influencers" immediately tried to spin it into him being so popular he crashed Twitter.

Ugh, folks.

Aside from the crowd protesting outside being larger than the supporters inside, it's a ludicrous claim. Twitter is one of the most trafficked sites on the Internet and has never crashed without some algorithm issue resulting in overloaded PHP/JavaScript calls, etc.

And if that doesn't make sense to you, consider DeSantis was actually booted from his own Twitter Space. Traffic doesn't do that, folks. Incompetence does. I'd NOT be shocked if we learn an artificial attempt to amplify his announcement resulted in the overload and crash, not popularity. It's also entirely possible the staff at Twitter did not appreciate the potential of being indicted for campaign finance violations like in-kinds and crashed it themselves.

Either way, the "DeSantis Broke Twitter Bruh!" mantra is for sycophants, not a sophisticated analysis of how this event might have met or failed to meet expectations. The entire point of an announcement is to reach as many people as possible, to appeal and inspire them, and to do it so effectively it causes a shakeup in the race.

On all these measures, Team DeSantis not only failed spectacularly, they might have actually hurt themselves in the long run. This was the most overhyped political disaster in modern memory, and anyone claiming otherwise, is lying.

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Live Streamed on November 22, 2023 11:59 AM ET
NEW Rust Belt Poll Results, Plus Q&A | Inside The Numbers Ep. 420

LIVE #InsideTheNumbers at 12PM EST — BRAND NEW Rust Belt Poll results for Michigan and Ohio! Plus, Friday Q&A.

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Book Club: The Emerging Republican Majority (Nov 12, 2023)

Archived recording for the PEOPLE'S PUNDIT Book Club to discuss "The Emerging Republican Majority" by Kevin Phillips.

Baris and Barnes Predict Key Groups Will Shift to Trump

Wow. Just wow.

Look at this clip with @RobertBarnes and I from MONTHS ago. Also tweeted/retweeted. You all keep great receipts.

Barnes and Baris Episode 29: What Are the Odds?

Watch Live 3:00 PM EST — Robert Barnes and Rich Baris discuss in detail bombshell results within the Public Polling Project for Early Spring 2021, and more civil unrest amid the trial of Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd.

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Barnes and Baris Episode 29: What Are the Odds?

Is it time to panic on Wisconsin?

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@PeoplesPundit I enjoyed your show today as usual. However, Dave “Fairy Boy” Ruben is absolutely not intelligent. He’s a dumb, untalented, unfunny, creepy loser. Fuck Dave “half-a-man” Ruben.

The DeSimps on X claim that Trump is a liberal and some even claiming that Hillary Clinton is more conservative than Trump, that's how delusional they are lately.

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Polling Misinformation Alert: 'Unskew' the Polls Returns
Partisans Desperate to Explain Away Pro-Trump Trends Violate Key Industry Norms

Watching people attempt to "unskew" polls conducted by all walks of this industry—ranging from Nate Cohn at The New York Times to Spencer Kimball at Emerson College to Tim Malloy at Quinnipiac—all to deny Donald Trump's gains against Joe Biden with various voting blocs, is more than a little sad.

The slew of recent polls over two weeks—to include no less than four today alone—have simply confirmed prior findings published from other pollsters who have previously been "unskewed". That includes your's truly and our work at BIG DATA POLL, Mark Penn at Harvard University, Patrick Ruffini at Echelon Insights, and many others.

I'm temped to equate this with an Occam's razor-like situation. But this debate is more about likelihood than simplicity.

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A Commentary on the Presidential Vote Preference Trend, 2020 - Present
Biden v. Trump in 2024 is NOT the Same Race as 2020

Here's the Presidential Vote Preference Trend for Biden v. Trump going back to August 2020. The Public Polling Project did not begin asking the Rematch Question for 2024 until September 2021. However, we can still make some pretty important and interesting observations.

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Why Donald Trump Is Heavily Favored to Win the Republican Nomination
Trump Has Crossed Two Very Historically Significant Milestones

I'll be discussion this subject matter in a lot more detail in the coming days on Inside The Numbers, but it's noteworthy and needed to be introduced in an article on Locals. After all, Locals First!

Donald Trump has secured more than 60 endorsements from "elected" Republicans holding national and gubernatorial office. I've heard it's possible he'll get to 70 by the end of this week. Why does that matter, given he didn't win with endorsements in 2015-2016?

For starters, he did better with endorsements than most people realize. Many early backers were unconventional endorsements, i.e. celebrities, sports figures, etc. But that's not the central point. No candidate in over four decades has ever gone on to lose their party nomination with this many endorsements at this point.

Yes, even this early in the nomination process.

As I have stated over and over—despite what you hear from DeSantis supporters on Fox News and Twitter—it is not true early frontrunners do not end up securing their party nominations, especially not when you can arguably consider Trump an incumbent rather than a non-incumbent.

The former president is certainly a known quantity on the national stage and there is no uncertainty over whether he will weather the scrunity that comes from being a top-tier candidate, both being key benefits of incumbency. But let's pretend for this discussion that we cannot and do not consider him an incumbent.

Regarding the polling, it's a little more complicated, though we're dealing with the same flawed assumptions among DeSantis surrogates and the timeframe is technically the same. While it's true declared and potential candidates polling at around 20% at this point typically have a roughly 20% chance of winning the nomination, there are mitigating factors at play this time.

Trump's polling lead is not historically normal even for a frontrunner. His dominance in our latest poll is a strong indication people are digging in their heels, as are the interviews I monitor, mode-depending. Some of them I've shared with all of you during the live show. No non-incumbent candidate polling at or above 50% at this point has lost the nomination in the modern era.

Yes, even this early in the nomination process.

The oft-cited analogy to Rudy Giuliani is grossly flawed. He never polled at these levels and in truth struggled to hold even a third of the primary vote before he lost the lead and eventually the nomination. The same is true of the equally cited example of Hillary Clinton in 2008.

DeSantis' roughly 20% historical likelihood for prior candidates polling at roughly 20% is essentially rendered irrelevant by the fact Trump is at 50% or higher. The window to seize on an opportunity to consolidate anti-frontrunner support has all but closed, if it hasn't been shut altogether. It's no longer a question of persuading Trump-fatigued voters.

Now, Trump's primary opponent must change decided voters' minds, a far more difficult task.

The Republican primary electorate is not a general election electorate. Working class voters will play deciding roles in several key early states. In our latest poll, Trump now enjoys his largest lead yet among this group, an astonishing 54 points, or 64.8% to 10.9%. Among white working class, it's an eye-popping 58 points, 69.2% to 11.4%. To put it plainly, not enough of these voters are going to change their minds. His lead hasn't fallen below 30 points with this demographic to date.

That leaves the only viable path to defeating Trump one that requires dominating among college educated primary voters, which still requires a tightening among non-college voters. But even among college educated primary voters, Trump's support has steadily improved since January 2023. He now leads with college voters by a margin that mirrors his floor with non-college voters.

And it's not just the polling.

The endorsement milestone is significant because there are not one BUT two key indicators for predicting presidential nominations heavily favoring the former president. Endorsements tend to snowball, hence the major endorsement from NRSC Chair Senator Steve Daines of Montana.

That all being said, it's unclear what they will throw at this guy next. It's possible one of these ahistorical legal attacks finally land a blow. But the Limbaugh Rule has held for nearly 7 years, and we should all be very skeptical of any outside influence's ability to break the deep connection Trump has with Republican voters. If he remains loyal to them, there's little reason—as in, we have zero reason—to believe they won't remain loyal to him.

P.S. I've added more to the crosstabs for the Polling Project May 2023. It's linked below for supporters.

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