Sitting with CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins as a guest on “The Source” Monday night, Republican 2024 presidential hopeful and former governor of Arkansas asserted that Donald Trump is losing steam in the primary race.
“Even though he has a grip right now on the campaign, on his candidacy, it’s a loosening grip,” he said. “There’s a growing, resurgent effort against the Trump GOP establishment, and that resurgent effort is growing.”
But unfortunately for Hutchinson, Collins didn’t seem to be buying it, asking him point blank: “What are you basing that off of, Governor?”
“We’re just — we’re not seeing that in the numbers at this point,” Collins said. “You’re not seeing it when you go to Iowa, New Hampshire, and you talk to voters. I mean, you hear some concerns, but overwhelmingly, based on these new numbers, he is still the dominant force in your party, despite those indictments.”
The journalist also threw cold water on the idea that Hutchinson is a shoe-in for the Republican presidential debate on Aug. 23. Nodding to his current polling — which is widely clocking in at less than 1% — Collins asked, “I mean, when you see those numbers, how do you — why do you think you will be on that debate stage in just a month from now?”
It was a fair, if a little blunt, line of questioning that Hutchinson came prepared to answer, noting the Rasmussen poll, “a very credible national poll,” had him at 4%. “So let’s just look at a broad variety of polls there,” he said.
But in an argument of chicken-or-the-egg, the former governor then pivoted, saying that it was getting on the debate stage that will get him the greater recognition he needs to have a leg in the race.
“But, again, I’m not as known as some others that are out there. I want people to hear my story, of being a federal prosecutor, head of the DEA, worked on border security issues in the Bush administration, Congress, a governor for eight years,” he listed. “I want them to hear that record of experience. And, as we get out there, I expect those numbers to change.”
As far as the gargantuan lead that Trump appears to have against the rest of his Republican presidential hopefuls — in second is Ron DeSantis at a staggering 17-point deficit — Hutchinson didn’t offer much in terms of proof that the winds are changing.
According to new a new poll from the New York Times, Trump remains far and away the overwhelming Republican frontrunner in the 2024 GOP primary, leading with 54% of the surveyed party’s support.