Chris Wallace cites polling to suggest DeSantis, Haley fighting to be ‘first loser’ to Trump


CNN host Chris Wallace delivered a reality check for Republican presidential candidates who failed to see the significance of the double-digit lead held by former President Donald Trump.

In an appearance on “CNN NewsNight” Wednesday, the former Fox News host called out two of the GOP candidates by name, saying Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley are wasting their time fighting for what they think is second-place to Trump.

“We are in this final countdown now to Iowa, and Trump is, as you said, the clear frontrunner. Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis are battling it out for second place, but they are now turning from attacking each other to saying that they are the ones who are gonna take on the former president,” CNN host Abby Phillip said to Wallace.

“It’s awfully late in the game. I mean, how many months has this campaign been going on?” Wallace responded.

Trump is undoubtedly leading the Republican primary field at 62.7%, according to RealClearPolitics’ poll average.  He is followed by Haley at 11%, and DeSantis at 10.9%.

“You know, you hear a little thing from DeSantis about, ‘Well he can’t win’ or ‘Trump didn’t keep all his promises as president,’ and from Nikki Haley about chaos,” Wallace continued.

“I mean, let’s put this in perspective. No Republican has ever won a contested race in the Iowa caucuses by more than 12 points. Right now, Donald Trump leads both Haley and DeSantis by more than 30 points,” Wallace noted.

“So it seems awfully late for them to come to this recognition. But you know, I know one of them wants to be second, the other third. If you finish second but 30 or 32 points behind the frontrunner, you’re a loser,” he added. “You’re not the second-place finisher, you’re the first loser.”

“Yeah, there’s no participation trophy here for these guys,” Phillip quipped.

“I just think it’s so late now. I mean, we’re less than two weeks before the caucuses,” Wallace contended.


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Frieda Powers
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