Tiny D

Then-President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hold a COVID-19 and storm preparedness roundtable in Belleair, Florida, on July 31, 2020. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

In 2016, the dearest wish of anti-Trump conservatives was a binary choice in the presidential primary between the frontrunner and a Reaganite challenger.

It may have taken eight years, but our wish has been granted abundantly. The challenger this cycle is more likable than Ted Cruz was, less prone to pandering to the party’s worst elements, and has executive experience as a former governor. She also resembles a diversifying America more than standard-issue Republican politicians tend to do. If you worry about the GOP’s crumbling support in the country’s suburbs, you couldn’t ask for a candidate more superficially suited to rebuild it than Nikki Haley.

At long last, we have Donald Trump where we want him. Are you excited?

You should not be excited.

With Ron DeSantis’ departure from the race, Trump is poised to crack 60 percent in New Hampshire on Tuesday. The odds of him beating Haley by 25 points are easily greater than the odds of her pulling an upset. Insofar as she’s competitive, it’s only because she’s attracting support from centrist independents who are keen to vote against Trump in the Republican primary. In national polls of GOP voters, she’s nearly 55 points behind.

The two-candidate race we wanted is here, nice and early in the primary schedule too. As the saying goes: Be careful what you wish for.

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