Many on the left and even some in his own party, along with most of the pundits, seem to have written former President Donald Trump off as a serious contender to regain the White House in 2024.
His presidency was a fluke, they say. His time has passed. The country has had enough of his imperious leadership style and the mainstream Republicans are tired of dancing to his tune. It's time for a slightly new direction, or, at least new blood to continue on the same path.
They might want to think again.
This weekend's Conservative Political Action Conference -- always a big GOP event in the past -- was mostly a yawn fest. Nikki Haley, who has declared she's seeking the Republican White House nomination, failed to excite the crowd. Presumed candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis failed to show up.
Then, on Saturday night, former President Trump took the stage. His speech was nothing new -- familiar talking points and a lot of "us against them" -- but it energized the crowd, The New York Post reported Sunday they were chanting his name, cheering in the aisles. President Trump gave the crowd the words it wanted. And the crowd gave him the adulation he wanted.
When a straw poll for the party's 2024 nominee was conducted, President Trump got 62% of the vote. DeSantis, who gets a lot of media attention and whom many consider the presumptive front-runner, only got 20% of the vote. Haley didn't break single digits.
Of course, it's along way to the Republican National Convention. Who knows what might happen. But despite the negative talk, it looks like this nomination is still Donald Trump's to lose.