President Donald Trump has again demonstrated his significant influence within the conservative media world. He recently directed his supporters to move their viewership from Fox News’s Laura Ingraham to Newsmax’s Greg Kelly. This unexpected pivot from the former president resulted from Ingraham’s discussion of poll numbers, which she claimed predicted poor electoral performance for Trump, particularly when compared to potential rivals like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) or Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC).
Unimpressed by the criticism, Trump swiftly took to his Truth Social platform. He dismissed Ingraham’s comments as a “hit piece” and countered her narrative with polling data favorable to his prospective 2024 run. The former president wrote, “Laura Ingraham on FoxNews just did a hit piece on me… showing some polls which indicate that Ron DeSanctimonious may do better against Biden than I would when actually polls show that I do MUCH better against Biden than ‘Rob.'”
🚨 TRUMP TRUTH:
Laura Ingraham on FoxNews just did a hit piece on me (there go her ratings!) showing some polls which indicate that Ron DeSanctimonious may do better against Biden than I would, when actually polls show that I do MUCH better against Biden than “Rob.” The poll… pic.twitter.com/JOCdyZ633s
— STEVEN SAVAGE 🇺🇸 (@ImStevenSavage) May 23, 2023
This spat illustrates the complexity of the conservative media landscape. Fox News has long been influential, but competition from emerging platforms like Newsmax has grown. Moreover, Trump’s vocal support of Greg Kelly could tip in the latter’s favor.
Trump’s potential run for the 2024 GOP nomination is an exciting prospect for many conservative voters. His 2016 victory is attributed, in part, to the fractured field of Republican candidates. Trump dominated the primary season, sweeping through key states and earning a significant delegate lead over rivals. A similar situation could potentially recur in 2024, especially considering Trump’s early strength.
An increasingly crowded field of candidates is already taking shape for the GOP’s 2024 nomination. This includes established political figures such as former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, and Scott and DeSantis. This large field may lead to a fractured anti-Trump electorate, mirroring the situation that benefitted Trump in 2016.
Despite his relative popularity, DeSantis, in particular, faces challenges that may hinder his ability to consolidate an anti-Trump base. His controversial approach to governing and recent policy decisions have divided some Republicans. As a result, he may need to distinguish himself from Trump and rally the anti-Trump opposition to break the former president’s momentum.
However, in early polls, Trump has already built a considerable lead over DeSantis. According to a recent Harvard Harris poll, Trump is leading Biden nationally by 7 points, while DeSantis is tied with Biden.
Trump’s candid recommendation for his followers to switch from Ingraham to Kelly suggests his readiness to shake up conservative media dynamics and his confidence in the upcoming presidential run. This move and his sharp response to Ingraham’s polling analysis underscores the crucial role that conservative media will continue to play in shaping the political landscape as the 2024 election approaches.