Race for 2nd Place Heats Up: Trump Dominates, But Who's Rising?

Toni Koraza

Candidates aiming for the chance to challenge directly front-runner Donald Trump are engaged in a fierce race for second place in the crowded Republican primary contest.

Formerly held by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the job now seems more free-for-all.

Since the start of the 2024 presidential campaign, the second-place finish in the GOP primary poll has been a prized position.

The Florida governor had a sizable campaign war chest and was trailing only Trump in early polls, albeit significantly.

However, DeSantis' star has started to dim more recently.

At the first Republican primary debate held in Milwaukee last month, DeSantis showed less vigor than some of his rivals; now, his poll numbers are comparable to several other non-Trump contenders.

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and DeSantis found themselves in a tight race for second place, according to a recent CNN/University of New Hampshire poll of probable GOP primary voters in the Granite State.

According to polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, Haley has been gaining support from Republican moderates in the days leading up to the second GOP debate. She is also making more of an effort to set herself apart in fiscal and international policy.

That represents a significant portion of the risk for most of the rest of the field in running against Trump in this primary.

Trump's polling lead over the competition has widened despite many indictments and his unwillingness to participate in the first two Republican presidential debates.

What that stumble would be is still unclear.

Trump doesn't appear to care about the repercussions of the other candidates' strategic mistakes.

What strategic move do you think could turn the tide in the fierce race for second place in the GOP primary, given Trump's commanding lead?

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