GOP strategist says Trump in a 'much more dominant position' than 2016

By Jen Krausz on
 July 5, 2023

Veteran political strategist Matthew Dowd said on MSNBC Tuesday that former President Donald Trump is in a "much more dominant position" now than he was in 2016.

Dowd, who led the Bush-Cheney campaign of 2004, said, “It’s fascinating about Ron DeSantis, who has had good success in Florida obviously and won overwhelmingly in Florida but can’t do anything when he goes out. At some point, the first time, second time, third time, fourth time outside their state, if they are not doing well, I don’t know if the fifth or sixth or seventh helps them. The biggest problem he has is Donald Trump is as if he is the incumbent in this case.”

He added, “Eight years ago when Donald Trump first ran, Donald Trump was at 14% or 15% in the polls. Today, he is at 50% or 60% in the polls. He is in a much more dominant position, Donald Trump, than he was in 2015 and 2016 when he still won the nomination in this process."

Dowd acknowledged that something could still happen to change the situation in the GOP primary before voting begins, but as things stand now, Trump will walk away with the nomination.

"The problem for Ron DeSantis and anybody else running in the race, it’s not about them," Dowd said. "Will some external event happen, something – some legal cause or something else happen that gives them a window where they can actually succeed?”

It's possible, but at this point, it looks unlikely.