Nothing seems to stick to Donald Trump, and no matter what his opponents say, the lead keeps getting bigger.
The latest TIPP survey is out, and it is just devasting for the field.
Donald Trump continues to baffle pollsters and pundits with this massive lead that refuses to shrink no matter what.
In the most recent TIPP poll, Trump is leading DeSantis 60 to 11, followed by Ramaswamy (9), Pence (6), and Haley (3). Everyone else is under 1%.
I will say this, however… that poll is way off the other polls, so it could be an outlier for the other candidates.
The Morning Consult, which is more recent, shows Trump at 57% and DeSantis at 14%. Ramaswamy is next at 9%, followed by Haley (6), Pence (6), Christie (3), and Scott (2), with everyone else under 1%.
Average polling on RealClearPolitics, in order, is Trump (53.6), DeSantis (13.3), Ramaswamy (7.0), Haley (6.0), Pence (5.0), and Scott (2.3), with everyone else under 1%.
Average polling on FiveThirtyEight is similar, showing Trump (53.0) in first, followed by DeSantis (13.3), Ramaswamy (7.0), Haley (6.1), Pence (5.0), Christie (3.9), and Scott (2.2).
If these averages hold, as I had predicted, we will have no more than five people on stage for the October debate at the Reagan Library.
The only way this race tightens up is for everyone else to drop out and for DeSantis to go head-to-head with Trump.
I don't see that happening until after Super Tuesday, which is a shame in terms of voters having a choice between the only two people who are really in this race.
I stated from the outset that a bigger field benefited only one person, and all these wannabees who entered the race for their ego, thinking they could knock off Trump, only served to make him stronger in this race.
Unless Trump gets disqualified via the 14th Amendment, which does not seem likely, or makes a massive misstep, this is his race to lose.
The irony in all of this is that people like Christie and Hutchinson, who said they were running to stop Trump, more or less handed him the win.
So, let me offer you a scenario that is the only way that I really see Trump being challenged in this race.
I will operate under the assumption that Governor Kristi Noem just locked up the VP slot with her endorsement of Trump last week.
That leaves Nikki Haley out in the cold unless DeSantis decides to work a deal with her before the South Carolina vote and says he will make her his VP, which I really think he should do.
From there, they have to figure out a way to discredit Ramaswamy and get him out of the race, or at least minimize his impact.
If DeSantis can also talk Pence and Christie into dropping out and throwing their support behind him, we are then looking at Trump at, let's call it, 55%, and DeSantis at around 30%, with 15% still up for grabs.
That would make people think, and could start to become a problem in Super Tuesday states that are not big fans of Trump.
All DeSantis needs to do is block Trump from getting a clean sweep that day, and we have ourselves a race.
If we assume that I somehow managed to predict all of this correctly, it then comes down to money and campaigning, which Trump may have little ability to do either.
If Haley joins DeSantis, I think DeSantis will carry South Carolina. That takes us to Michigan, Idaho, DC, and North Dakota before we head to Super Tuesday.
DeSantis would not need to really win any states on Super Tuesday if he can just stay close enough to snag enough delegates to keep it competitive and block Trump.
Trump will be in the middle of at least one legal case, with his campaign funds being eaten up by lawyer's fees.
If this is a close race at that point, the next big voting days are March 12, 19, and April 2. From there, it is mostly single states except for May 14, 21, and June 4.
The point is, there is ample time for DeSantis to make a move in the second half of the election if he gets past that first hump.
For Trump supporters, I would not be worried just yet.
For DeSantis supporters, you clearly cannot give up hope because while it is a long shot, yes, I am saying there is a chance that this race is still not over.