President Donald J. Trump’s speech at CPAC (at 5:25 p.m. EST on March 4) promises to be a barnburner. It is the first and biggest speech of the 2024 election season, following his campaign announcement back in November.
Trump has been conducting a much more sharply focused campaign this go-around, which has Never-Trumper GOP strategists and Senators worried. Trump is looking far more razor-sharp and presidential than anyone else in the race, and no one else is even able to come close to touching his popularity.
The president wrote on Truth Social on Thursday, “I will be at CPAC on Saturday, talking about the fact that, obviously, our Country is going to ‘HELL,’ and how to fix it.”
Trump promises for his speech on Saturday night to be a “recipe” for fixing the disastrous two-year losing streak that America has been on under Joe Biden. He also took a few swipes at some of the people who will NOT be attending the conservative confab this year:
“The only reason certain ‘candidates’ won’t be going to CPAC is because the crowds have no interest in anything they have to say. They’ve heard it all before, and don’t want to hear it again. But my speech, on Saturday night, is already a sold out ‘monster.’ They are trying to expand the room and space. We’ll have a great time at CPAC, we always do. See you there, and don’t forget to vote in the important Straw Poll!”
Both Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Mike Pence the Betrayer have opted out of CPAC this year. While both are rumored to be getting ready to jump in the 2024 primary to challenge Trump, neither has done so. Honestly, it’s smart for them to stay away, CPAC is a very pro-Trump crowd and the CPAC straw poll results will hurt their brand immensely when Trump runs away with it. Plus, the optics would be terrible for either one of their campaigns if they walk on stage and get booed.
Two of Trump’s former employees who are hoping to knife him in the back are appearing at CPAC. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has been avoiding appearances on Tucker Carlson Tonight for months, and former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley will be speaking. Haley is the only candidate so far to announce that she’s officially running in 2024.
Rasmussen Reports conducted a poll of registered voters a few days ago, which showed Trump with a sizeable lead. That poll was interesting because Rasmussen also asked Democrats who they would prefer in 2024. A whopping 18% of Democrats said they would prefer Nikki Haley over Joe Biden. 41% of Democrats have a favorable opinion of her. Which is why she has no hope whatsoever of taking down Trump or winning the primary. It kind of says a lot about the state of our country when 1 out of 5 Democrats prefer Nikki Haley over the current dementia potato in the White House.
The scuttlebutt is that Nikki is angling to become the VP choice of either Trump or Governor DeSantis when one of them ultimately wins. Mike Pence is definitely not in the running to be Trump’s VP after his failures and betrayal on January 6th.
In a more recent poll, conducted by Emerson, Trump has blown his lead wide open. Trump has a clear majority 55% support among Republican voters. DeSantis trails him by 31 points, at 24%. Haley and Pence each drew 7%, and every other possible Republican is basically failing to put any points on the board.
I question the accuracy of the Emerson poll a little bit, for two reasons. I’ve never met a single Republican in the past two years who would openly admit that they support Mike Pence. And I haven’t heard of a single Republican who lives outside of South Carolina who supports Nikki Haley over Trump.
Two other prominent names are avoiding CPAC this year, despite the conference being held right in Washington, DC. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is a no-show, and so is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Most Republican voters by now know that these two losers orchestrated the Red Fizzle in last November’s midterms, which should have been a Red Wave election. CPAC used to be the most establishment GOP event of the year. Trump has shifted the party so much that the establishment doesn’t even bother showing up now.