Dolan’s Digest: Suddenly Trump is in the driving seat

DONALD Trump rode a tidal wave of support last week to romp to victory in the Republican Party’s Iowa caucus. He secured more than 50 per cent of the vote, smashing his nearest rivals Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley.

While it might have been expected, the sheer scale of Trump’s victory sent shockwaves through the American establishment and set up perfectly the prospect of a rematch between the former President and the incumbent, Joe Biden. 

In the following days, Ron DeSantis, whom many once viewed as Trump’s strongest contender for the nomination, dropped out of the race. Citing no ‘clear path to victory’, the Florida Governor endorsed Trump, saying that the majority of Republic voters wanted to give him another chance at the Presidency.   

The landslide victory caused the young entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who until recently looked set to disrupt the primaries, to pause all campaigning activities for his Presidential campaign: this is a huge sign that the Republican candidate for President may already be a foregone conclusion. 

Trump has been bogged down by a series of indictments and expects to face a March trial only a day before Super Tuesday, when the greatest number of US states hold primary elections. Who could have predicted that he would not only navigate these indictments with what seems like relative ease but romp home to a record-breaking victory in the Iowa caucus to an extent that looks as if the race for the Republican candidacy is all but over? 

Now the question is what does this mean for the Presidential election and will the Democratic establishment allow this to continue. Will we see further indictments against Trump? If the Biden administration does not allow democracy to run its course, we could witness a schism akin to a 21st century civil war in the US. 

The latest polling will surely be a cause for concern in the White House, suggesting that Trump is firm favourite in a battle against an ageing and increasingly unpopular Biden. The result in Iowa must surely be focusing the minds of strategists and advisers who cannot let ‘Sleepy Joe’ take part in another battle against Donald Trump. 

The options for the Democrats are fairly obvious. Continue to insist  that Biden is the best person for the job and ramp up their attacks on the former President in the courts and in the media, or acknowledge that they need to go in a completely different direction and retire the 46th President at the earliest opportunity. 

If the latter happens, who do the Democrats look to? Michelle Obama has long been rumoured to be a potential option as someone the establishment believe might at least put up a fight against Trump. 

Once again, Donald Trump has come into the political arena and shaken up a stale and predictable landscape with his characteristic campaigning prowess. By romping to victory in Iowa Trump is now in the driving seat and making everyone, from every side of politics, rethink their plans for 2024. 

As the GOP move this week to New Hampshire for the hugely symbolic primary in the state, Trump leads in the polling and looks set to notch up another victory. Biden and the Democrats will be quaking in their boots. If we thought politics couldn’t throw up any more surprises, this year is set to quash that notion. 

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