I spoke with Maggie Haberman for her New York Times piece with Shane Goldmacher on the inability (or unwillingness) of Donald Trump’s GOP opponents to break out of a 2016 redux.
The primary is obviously not over, despite the Trump team’s attempt to brand it as the race for “first place loser.” Polls often shift late. No votes have been cast.
Yet Mr. Trump’s fractured opposition, and the persistent focus on one of them emerging as the leading “Trump alternative,” echo the dynamics of his first run in 2016, when his rivals spent millions of dollars on ads attacking each other while he marched to the nomination.
“At least that was a viable strategy then,” said Sarah Isgur, who was a top adviser to Carly Fiorina’s presidential campaign that year. “Because at least if you knocked out everyone, you could have beaten Trump. That’s not true this time. Even if you got a one-on-one race, I don’t see the math.”
Liam Donovan, a Republican strategist, said Mr. Trump’s rivals appeared to be mindlessly repeating the mistakes of the past. “Despite what has amounted to a rerun, Trump’s challengers seem determined not to try anything new at all,” he said.
Read the full piece here.