I have not been keeping up with the day-to-day developments and media coverage of the Trump and DeSantis campaigns. To call it a horserace is an understatement. Everyone on Twitter, on either the pro-Trump or pro-DeSantis side, is looking for the smallest of reasons or evidence for their unfavored candidate losing. Is DeSantis losing the narrative or out of touch? Is Trump ‘finished’, for the dozenth time this year? Any speculation is premature. It’s impossible to make any sort of determination this early who is going to win. The polls at best are unreliable, at worse are useless.
In 2007 Hillary was favored over Obama, until Obama began winning primaries, and Hillary was forced to have to at least pretend to be a ‘normal person’ for once in her life.
In mid-2015 it was a four-way tie between Jeb, Cruz, Trump, and Rubio. A June 2015 Florida poll gave Jeb a lead, and Jeb also was praised for his debate performance. Little good that did, dropping out in Feb 2016 having spent $150 million with nothing to show for it for except such moments as “please clap“, that similar to Dean’s scream, will live online forever.
In 2004 Howard Dean was the front-runner ahead of Kerry, until he imploded after Iowa.
In Feb. 2016 a poll showed Sanders leading over Hillary for the first time…so much for that.
In Dec 2011, Newt Gingrich and Romney were neck-and-neck in national polls, similar to Trump and DeSantis now.
Biden in August 2019 was in a 3-way tie with Warren and Sanders.
And going back to 2000, McCain and Bush were tied for much of the early primaries.
However early on we tend to know who the top or viable candidates will be. The race tends to get whittled down to maybe 2-4 viable candidates from each party, and then things stay close until the caucuses and primaries begin. It’s sorta remarkable how little the needle moves despite so much campaigning and media coverage, until the primaries begin.