Former Democratic Party Chair Donna Brazile predicted Sunday an easy path for former President Trump to the GOP presidential nomination, adding that the “enthusiasm gap” is “huge” between Trump and his primary rivals.
The former president is coming off a strong Iowa caucus victory and hoping to repeat that success in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday, where former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has gained in polls.
“When you win 98 of 99 counties in Iowa, that tells me you have momentum,” Brazile said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “His voters are going to stick with him no matter how many convictions, how many court appearances.”
“Donald Trump is the leader of a mass movement that continues to grow in this country,” she continued. “Now, we all have to come to the reality, this is a movement. This is not a candidate who’s basically the standard-bearer for the Republican Party; he is leading a movement.”
Trump drove solid turnout in the Iowa caucuses last week, despite bitter cold and a receding snowstorm in the Hawkeye State. Those factors make it difficult for Haley to upset Trump in New Hampshire and ultimately defeat him in the primary, Brazile said.
“Look, it’s really hard to see her path right now,” she said. “Everybody says that people write off Nikki Haley. And she often will come from behind and surprise people. And she has done that in this race. She’s done it in the past. But her window here is increasingly closing.”
Brazile noted that New Hampshire is not representative of the average Republican in other states, and predicted that the former South Carolina governor’s strength with college-educated and wealthier Republicans could lead her to underperform in future primaries.
“So even if she does well [in New Hampshire], it still seems like a long shot for her,” Brazile said. “And that’s just the reality on the ground.”
Granite State polls show Trump leading Haley by about 11 points, according to The Hill/Decision Desk HQ. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who placed second in Iowa just ahead of Haley, only has about 6 percent support in New Hampshire, according to polls.