Tune in to Chuck Warren and Sam Stone as they are joined by David Catanese who highlights how Iowa could potentially be a make or break moment for DeSantis, as Nikki Haley is gaining momentum at the right time. Listen now for more insights and predictions into the Iowa Caucus.
CHUCK WARREN: So, let’s talk about it. It seems like Iowa is a make or break for DeSantis. Is that a fair assessment?
DAVID CATANESE: Yeah, I think if he’s in third place, he will drop out before the next contest, which is in eight days in New Hampshire.
SAM STONE: Do you think he is running in third or lower right now?
I haven’t seen what I would call really good data out of Iowa and obviously with the caucus system, you kind of never know. A lot of it can be on the ground organizing that flies under the radar.
DAVID CATANESE: So there was a Suffolk University poll out, I believe yesterday, that showed Haley inching ahead barely. I think they had her at 22. DeSantis in the high teens, I think 18 or 19.
But it’s close. And you know, it’s close because of the rhetoric they’re flinging at each other every day.
They’re not talking about Trump. I mean, everything out of Haley and DeSantis’ mouth is about the other one. And Trump, you know, it’s sort of ironic that Trump’s gliding above all this, because the battle really is for second place.
Now, I would say that it’s mechanics versus momentum in Iowa. Haley has the momentum. She is, in every interview you hear, you hear voters, you hear consultants saying more people are looking at her now because of these debate performances, because they see her. If you’re not for Trump and you want an alternative, they see, you know, DeSantis flailing, all these bad stories about campaign managers changing and operatives leaving, the super PAC in disarray.
So she’s getting that look.
But I would say that Never Back Down has been there for a year. They announced that they’ve knocked on up one million doors. They’ve hit their voters, targeted voters, five times.
Haley’s nowhere close to that organizationally.
She got this surge late.
She’s peaking at the right time, which is what you want in politics.
But this is going to be a question of, do all those door knocks back in May and June come through for DeSantis?
He has more organization, Caucus Precinct Captains, which are important to get people to the caucus, in the door, in that seat, to vote for him.
But this is the question of the grand theory of politics.
Would you rather have momentum, or would you rather have the better technical, mechanical field organization on the ground?
I think it’s very, very close and we’re going to find out Monday night.
About David Catanese
David Catanese is the host of Too Close Too Call podcast. He is a Washington-based political writer ready to feed your political appetite but also challenge you on some of life’s larger quandaries. He has written for McClatchy, The Atlantic, U.S. News & World Report & Politico.