Handicapping Trump versus DeSantis faceoff

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Nixonian paranoid introvert with weak social skills will not defeat ex-president

The Great Never Trump Hope is finally throwing his boxing gloves into the 2024 presidential ring. Here’s how Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will try to knock out the greatest counterpuncher in American politics.

Mr. DeSantis will first try to claim Mr. Trump can’t win. While Mr. Trump decisively beats both President Biden and Mr. DeSantis in national polls, look out for DeSantis-friendly pollsters showing Mr. DeSantis taking key battlegrounds like Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin, and these misleading polls will be gleefully disseminated by the Never Trump media — from CNN, MSNBC and Fox News to ABC, CBS and NBC.

As a counterpunch, Mr. Trump will urge his supporters (particularly disaffected Fox News viewers) to move to more MAGA-friendly outlets such as Newsmax, which just pushed past CNN in prime time, Real America’s Voice (home to former Trump adviser Steve Bannon) and One America’s News.

Mr. DeSantis will also try to pose as a MAGA populist — he is already being tutored by a disgruntled ex-Trump staffer. Mr. Trump need not really counterpunch here as his MAGA base knows you can tell a politician by the company he keeps.

Here, Mr. DeSantis has already allied himself with the MAGA-hating, open borders, China-appeasing donors of Wall Street and Silicon Valley, and the multinational corporations whose bottom lines depend on the offshoring of American jobs and importing of illegal alien labor.

Mr. DeSantis has also received the full-throated backing of the second most hated man in MAGA, behind only George Soros. The Australian globalist Rupert Murdoch has pledged the full force of his Fox News-New York Post empire. It’s not for nothing that Mr. DeSantis has fallen in the polls as his globalist backing has been revealed.

Mr. DeSantis’ third line of attack may be the strongest card he will play to try to split Mr. Trump’s broader Republican and independent base. Mr. DeSantis will position himself as the intrepid Fauci fighter who rejected “Trump’s lockdowns” and the forced vaccination of what Mr. DeSantis will scornfully portray as the “Trump vaccine.”

By Peter Navarro

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