In the two months since Donald Trump launched his third presidential campaign, potential rivals have been casting doubt over his inevitability as the GOP nominee – whispering from the sidelines that he has lost his touch, that there are cracks in his base, that his strange absence from the campaign trail will cost him later on.
But diminished or not, Trump has still managed to inspire a game of chicken. His most likely competitors want to go toe-to-toe with him eventually – just not at the outset of their campaigns.
While nearly a dozen 2024 campaign operatives and advisers who spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity insisted that Trump’s political appeal is more limited than ever, most said they still wouldn’t want their horse to be first in the race after him. Their…