When former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace popped up on CNN’s primetime coverage of the first Jan. 6 Committee hearing earlier this month, he drew the ire of some viewers for expressing deep “skepticism” over their ability to change anyone’s mind about Donald Trump.
But as the proceedings begin to unfold, he may be starting to change his tune.
On Thursday morning, ahead of a session that is expected to feature testimony from top Department of Justice officials, Wallace appeared on CNN to weigh in on a new 2024 poll that shows Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis edging out Trump among likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire.
In response to pollster Frank Luntz characterizing the poll results as a sign that at least some conservative voters want to “move on” from Trump, Wallace said “that could very possibly be the biggest impact” of the Jan. 6 hearings, “that it just adds to Trump fatigue.”
“Voters aren’t going to say, ‘I changed my mind on what Donald Trump did over the last four years, I’d vote against him against Joe Biden,’” he continued. “I think it may just be people say, ‘Can we find Trumpism without having to deal with the baggage, with all of the drama of Donald Trump?’”
If those voters are “casting about for a Trump alternative,” Wallace added, then DeSantis “might be a pretty good choice.”
And while Wallace doesn’t think Trump has anything major to worry about from one poll showing him two points down two years out from the election, he did point out that the “dirtiest word in Trump’s lexicon” is “loser.”
“Despite what he said, he was a loser to Joe Biden,” Wallace said, referring to the 2020 election. “Now he could be a loser a second time.” If Trump goes into 2024 with the real possibility of losing early primary states like New Hampshire, Wallace asked, “Will he have the stomach for that?”