Party operatives and consultants believe that Wednesday’s debate will be crucial for Ron DeSantis to demonstrate his viability as the best Trump challenger before someone like Nikki Haley takes up the mantle.
Tina Nguyen September 26, 2023

The DeSantis Bunker Mentality

Ahead of the second Republican debate, the DeSantis camp is plagued by growing doubts among donors and allies that their biggest unspoken problem may be the candidate, not the campaign.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 25: U.S. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks to reporters outside the Speakers Balcony at the U.S. Capitol Building on July 25, 2023 in Washington, DC. McCarthy held the media availability with reporters to discuss a potential impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Joe Biden that would focus on the Biden family's alleged financial misconduct. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Tina Nguyen September 20, 2023
Beneath the façade of a unified opposition to the compromise G.O.P. spending plan, the hardline bloc is really a confederation of “caucuses of one,” as a House Republican insider put it, each with their own individual incentives, which McCarthy could use to break them apart—if they don’t get rid of him first.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 19: President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky addresses world leaders during the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on September 19, 2023 in New York City. Dignitaries and their delegations from across the globe have descended on New York for the annual event. This year marks the 78th session of the General Debate at the UN Headquarters and will focus on the crisis of global warming. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Julia Ioffe September 19, 2023
The Ukrainian leader returns to pitch Congress just as the political mood turns chilly, and a near-universal supposition takes hold that voters are “getting tired” of aiding his defense. Supporters and allies say they need a plan to change the narrative… But maybe this isn’t it.
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 28: Vice President Kamala Harris speaks onstage during a Pride Celebration hosted by the Vice President Of The United States and Mr. Emhoff in collaboration with GLAAD on June 28, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for GLAAD)
Peter Hamby September 18, 2023
Calls to drop Harris from the 2024 ticket are without modern precedent, fraught with risk, and run counter to every impulse that Biden holds dear. It’s fanfic for political hobbyists and it’s as predictable as it is pointless.