It's like a slow-motion nightmare playing out for former President Donald Trump as he eyes a re-election bid in 2024.
There was a time when no one could compete with Trump and his cult of personality followers, but that day is apparently history as up-and-comer Republican darling Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is quickly jumping to the head of the pack.
After devastating testimony in the House panel hearings on the January 6 riots dropped this week, suddenly Trump is no longer the favorite to win - and DeSantis is ready to take the lead, if he runs.
DeSantis Favored to Win
For months now, DeSantis and Trump have been neck-and-neck in polls among likely Republican voters ahead of 2024 primaries.
However, Trump has always maintained at least a modest lead in most of the polls. But bets are changing rapidly.
Now, DeSantis takes 22% of winning on the Smarkets betting exchange and Trump only 20%. Alarmingly for Democrats, President Joe Biden trails both with 14%.
And perhaps more tellingly, in a poll conducted assuming Trump does not decide to run in 2024, DeSantis takes a whopping 36% of voter support according to a new poll. Former VP Mike Pence takes 17% and the rest all trail with less than double digits. In polls where Trump does run, he still comes out on top - but his numbers are falling and the playbooks are turning against him.
GOP mega-donors are also distancing from the former President, looking to DeSantis and others as safer places to funnel their money for the next presidential race.
DeSantis has been avoiding the former President's attention, and has not sought his endorsement ahead of the 2022 governor's race. Trump, seeing the writing on the wall however, is now signaling that he'd be willing to have DeSantis as his VP.
The Hill writes, "'Well, I get along with him,' Trump said. 'I was very responsible for his success, because I endorsed him and he went up like a rocket ship.'”
Unfortunately for DeSantis, the Republican favorite's rumblings are the last thing he needs right now as he works to carve out his own reputation and distance himself from the drama surrounding the erstwhile president.
Documentary-Maker Calls Trump 'Delusional' and 'Dangerous'
Meanwhile the Trump drama train rolls on as footage captured by British documentarian Alex Holder is being poured through by the House panel investigating January 6.
Holder recently spoke out about his observations of the former President, calling him "delusional" and "dangerous," describing him as living in, "cloud cuckoo land." Holder describes a person who cannot be reasoned with, who shapes his own reality.
Holder's footage was a surprise to many inner-circle Republicans and has Trump's friends worried. The footage is expected to be central to the upcoming panel hearings which will resume in July.