Who Will Be The Next Republican Presidential Nominee? (March 2021)
Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
Last month, thefederalistpages.com published its first in a series of prospective evaluations on the state of the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Today, we continue the series with our March installation.
The Format: Below is a list of the various likely Republican contenders according to thefederalistpages.com. The point rankings are based on the relative strength each candidate has in a universe of 100 total points. Thus, unless I am writing these predictions at some odd hour, the total points allocated between the candidates should add up to 100 points. To provide an idea of how the various candidates have progress, we are also including the candidates' original points (in the February edition) and his or her highest and lowest points awards in the series in teh following annotation: Pointage key: Present points. First points/High/Low
So, without further delay, here is thefederalistpages.com's lates tpredictions list:
Fmr. Pres. Donald J. Trump (FL) 45 pts. 30/44/44 If there's anything to be gleamed from the events since our last installment, it is Former President Donald J. Trump's staying power. Since our prior rankings, Trump survived yet another unsubstantiated, biased, and vitriolic impeachment proceeding that left him stronger than before. By playing golf and staying silent, the Former President played the situation brilliantly. Meanwhile Former President Trump reasserted his position as the massive force within the Republican Party by demolishing Senator Mitch McConnell for his hypocrisy and inconsistency in his observations about the former President. On President's Day, we lay witness to the unprecedented, organic rally in West Palm Beach in his honor that attracted thousands. No other political figure can pull that kind of unsolicited support. In his CPAC speech, the President sizzled with his populist message and his America First ideals. Our position continues to be that if President Trump wants the primary nomination, he will get it.
On another front, President Trump's speech was monumental. He was so strong and decisive that he demonstrated why he was the de facto leader of the Republican Party, and he did everything but actually announce that he was running for the nomination in 2024. Those two hours caused a seismic shift in the layout of the field and reasserted President Trump as undeniable leader of the Republican Party. He keeps the extends his lead to 44 pts.
Gov. Ron DeSantis (FL) 13 pts. 10/13/10 The Florida Governor is our biggest climber this month. His invitation for President Designate Joe Biden to perform a certain anatomical impossibility was masterful, even though he loses points for disrespecting the Office of the Presidency of the United States. However, whatever disrespect he may have shown to the Office by not calling Joe, "Mr. President," is negated by the President Designate's insistence that he do so. Meanwhile, Governor DeSantis's Florida COVID-19 performance continues to shine as a beacon for the rest of the nation. His CPAC poll numbers asserted him into a solid second place position behind President Trump. Governor DeSantis capitalizes on his style and climbs to 13 points, abeam of Senator Cruz.
Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) 13 pts. 14/14/13. Senator Cruz made an unforced error this month over his allegedly ill-timed trip to Cancún. Ill-timed for what? Despite the press's attack on him, Cruz did nothing wrong by fleeing the cold. He had no official responsibilities in protecting the grid or in restoring power to his home state. If anything, with all the power outages, it was likely he could more easily travel to DC from Cancún than from his native state if necessary. As I stated, his greater error in my opinion was in apologizing and in cutting his trip short. He should have spent it with his family.
Regardless, Senator compensated through his self-deprecating humor and a strong performance at CPAC. Senator Cruz drops a point to 13 points, but only because due to the effects of the point grabbing performance by Former President Trump. He is in a tie with Governor DeSantis.
Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) 8 pts. 15/15/8. This month Senator Rubio drops to 8 points, not because of anything he has done or failed to do, but rather, because he has, thus far, demonstrated no interest in joining the race. In fact, just the opposite is true. Since our last installation, Senator Rubio met with Ivanka Trump whose move to Miami has raised speculations as to whether her relocation was in support of a potential primary bid for Florida's Senate seat. Quite the opposite appears to be true as the reports came out of their favorable meeting and of Ivanka's support for the Senator. He was also notably absent at CPAC. Thus, it appears, at least for now, that Senator Rubio is not interested in a presidential bid at this time.
Sen. Rand Paul (KY) 6 pts. 7/7/6 Senator Rand Paul drops a point to 6 despite his forceful and elegant performance regarding transgenderism during the Rachel/Richard/Dick Levine confirmation hearings. He would have gained one were it not for the aforementioned seismic shift caused by President Trump at CPAC
Sen. Rick Scott (FL) 3 pts. 5/5/3 Senator Rick Scott from Florida drops to 3 5 points following his solid performance at CPAC and his forceful commentaries regarding the impeachment hearings. Like many others, he lost points to accommodate for the effects of President Trump
Sen. Josh Hawley (MO) 3 pts. 7/7/3 Senator Hawley has remained relatively silent this month, but has continued to provide solid, conservative representation. He voted correctly to acquit President Trump and has continued to make forceful, well reasoned, conservative arguments before the press. He also had a favorable CPAC appearance. He loses four points in light of others' gains.
Gov. Kristi Noem (SD) 2 pts. 4/2/2 Governor Kristi Noem had a relatively quiet month although there may be some tricky waters ahead because South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg's misdemeanor case from the death of a pedestrian that occurred at his hands. Till now, Governor Noem has appropriately called for the Attorney General's resignation. She drops two points only because of the uncertainty of the political situation in her state.
Fmr. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo 2 pt. _/2/2 The Former Secretary of State was not listed in the original installation of our series because he had not made any indications to run. However, this month Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made a few favorable press appearances and delivered a strong America-First performance at CPAC. Stated or not, Former Secretary Pompeo is increasingly acting like a candidate. Two points on our initial entry.
Other (USA) 3 pts. 6/6/3 Can some other pop up out of nowhere? Maybe. This month, we will drop the likelihood at three points to accommodate for Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's appearance and the resumption of President Trump's colossal presence.
Fmr. Gov. Nikki Haley (SC) 1 pts. 2/1/1 Well, Nikki Haley screwed up!! Her comments regarding Former President Trump this month were atrocious and hypocritical. She then demonstrated the audacity of meeting with very man she criticized. Trump appropriately turned her down. It would not be imprudent to drop her from the list altogether, but she will likely run an will need to be followed. She keeps the minimum possible 1 point.
Fmr. V.P. Mike Pence (IN) 1 pt. 1/1/1 Former Vice President Pence is still down and likely will never recover. The most important development in February was his refusal to attend CPAC. Wise move, but a debilitating reality for him. At least now, the Former Vice President is no alone at 1 point. He can hang out with Nikki Haley.
The Wildcard: Still up for grabs is the wildcard! If Donald Trump decides not to run and support one of the other candidates all the standings will change markedly. We will be standing by.
See you in April!!!
Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He served in the Florida House of Representatives. He is the author of numerous books including The Federalist Pages, The Case for Free Market Healthcare, and Coronalessons. He is available for appearances and book signings, and can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com.