Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) asserted that he is not running a “basement campaign” in New Hampshire but also conceded that former President Donald Trump is going to “run away with” the primary in the Granite State.
DeSantis is trailing former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Trump in New Hampshire polls. During an appearance on Fox News’s Your World With Neil Cavuto on Friday, DeSantis discussed how Haley has poured mass amounts of money into the New Hampshire primary but is going to lose to Trump because of his momentum from Iowa.
“I think a lot of it’s a factor of her dumping so much money into the state. I think an unprecedented amount of money,” DeSantis said. “But I think her problem is Trump will run away with it in New Hampshire.”
He added, “I think that’s pretty clear at this point. He’s got the momentum from Iowa. And I don’t think anyone thinks that she can beat Trump in her home state of South Carolina.”
He also touted his own campaign but said it is an uphill battle against Trump, who he claimed is a “de-facto incumbent” in the Republican presidential primary and argued that him getting only 51% in Iowa could help fight the “inevitability argument.”
“I think what Iowa showed is, [Trump] got half the vote, which is good, really good in a normal caucus season, but I think he’s a de-facto incumbent president that is the most famous person in politics. So that was telling that you had half the people, roughly, that opted for someone else,” DeSantis said.
“Now, what I do think we saw in Iowa and what you’re probably going to see Tuesday in New Hampshire and beyond is there are a lot of voters that were resigned that we were targeting that were interested in another choice, but they did buy into the inevitability argument,” he added. “And I think that’s part of the reason why the turnout was so low. I think they said why go out and do it if Trump is running away with it. That is gonna continue to be the inevitability thing.”
DeSantis finished second in the Iowa caucuses with 21.2%, compared to Trump’s 51%, and is behind Trump and Haley in New Hampshire with 6%, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average.