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Saturday, July 20, 2024

My chances are close to 100% – Trump

The former US president is likely to face Joe Biden in next year’s election, recent polling data indicates

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has boasted that he believes he can dominate longtime political rival Joe Biden in next year’s election should the legally embattled former president secure the GOP nomination.

Speaking at a campaign event in Iowa, a state in which he comfortably defeated Biden during his unsuccessful attempt to regain the White House in 2020, Trump said he sees himself as holding a near-unassailable advantage over the 80-year-old US commander-in-chief.

Read more: No more US if Trump regains presidency – Pelosi

“Close to 100%,” Trump told the Sunday Times when asked about his chances against Biden in a rematch of their fractious showdown at the polls three years ago.

Current polling data suggests that Trump is the clear favorite to become the Republican nominee in next year’s presidential election. But before a Biden rematch becomes a reality, Trump must first secure his party’s nomination – a path that must take him past, or through, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

“He didn’t have many people show up,” Trump told the Daily Mail of the 44-year-old DeSantis’ apparent lack of support at the same Iowa State Fair earlier on Saturday. “That’s not good. He’s doing very poorly in the polls. Very, very poorly.

“And I think he’s going to be leaving the race pretty soon, I think,” Trump said, adding that he doesn’t see the Florida legislator as a threat to his White House chances.

Read more: Donald Trump vows to prosecute Biden if elected

DeSantis, a populist lawmaker who has surged to popularity in the Sunshine State on a so-called ‘anti-woke’ platform, has so far failed to translate his home support base to a national scale – despite one poll showing him holding a 23-point advantage over Trump just nine months ago.

That advantage, though, has long since expired despite Trump walking a legally perilous tightrope involving three ongoing federal indictments. Another is expected to be served in the coming days relating to his alleged efforts to compel lawmakers in the state of Georgia to call the 2020 election in his favor.

The former real estate mogul is also facing campaign finance violation charges in New York, another related to withholding sensitive government documents at his Florida estate, and a third concerning an alleged conspiracy to overturn the results of the last presidential election. Trump denies any wrongdoing.

Trump’s comments on Biden and DeSantis came soon after he was warned by a US judge not to make statements that could “taint the jury pool” for his upcoming trials. “He is a criminal defendant,” Judge Tanya Chutkan said. “The fact that the defendant is engaged in a political campaign is not going to allow him greater or lesser latitude.”