DeSantis Making His Move? He’s On The Campaign Trail Supporting MAGA Candidates In Battleground States

desantis stump for candidates
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) Gage Skidmore 12/22/18

While all eyes are focused on the 2022 midterm elections, there are some looking forward to 2024 and the race for the White House. And while former President Donald Trump is busy holding rallies, another possible contender is also heading out to support GOP candidates around the country.

Trump-endorsed GOP candidates, at that.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, currently the runner-up and second favorite among Republicans for 2024, is headed out to Arizona, New Mexico, Ohio, and Pennsylvania for upcoming rallies. Those battleground states will have a huge impact on how things shape up in the next Congress.

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Supporting Trump-Backed Candidates

DeSantis will be campaigning for several Trump-endorsed candidates, including Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance, Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, in Arizona for Senate candidate Blake Masters and gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, and in New Mexico for Rep. Yvette Herrell.

The move may prove to be a strategic one for DeSantis. His name is among those consistently floated as 2024 GOP presidential contenders, and he has become enormously popular with conservatives for his approach to governing and dealing with the media. 

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Trump, DeSantis, And The CPAC Dallas Presidential Straw Poll

Since the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held annually in February, Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis have been trading the lead in various straw polls held at GOP gatherings.

Back in February, the CPAC straw poll had Trump up over DeSantis 58% to 28%. In May, at the Wisconsin State GOP convention, a straw poll taken there had DeSantis with a slight edge over Trump with 38% to 32%.

A recent New York Times/Siena College poll had Trump at 49% among likely GOP voters, and DeSantis at 25%. This past weekend at the CPAC conference in Dallas, Trump won the straw poll handily with 59% of the vote, and DeSantis with 24%

But another interesting thing happened in Dallas. A second poll was taken without Trump’s name in the running. DeSantis topped the list with 65% of the vote.

Trump has also in the past spoken positively of a possible Trump/DeSantis GOP ticket in 2024 and has – so far – had nothing but praise for DeSantis.

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Not All Republicans On Board With DeSantis

While most Republicans seem to be energized for 2024, whether the nominee would be Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis, not everyone in the GOP is getting behind DeSantis should Trump decide against a run.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who is prepared to put her political career on the chopping block in order to “rid” America of Donald Trump, said in an interview with the New York Times that it “would be very difficult” to support a DeSantis candidacy in 2024.

She continued saying, “I think that Ron DeSantis has lined himself up almost entirely with Donald Trump, and I think that’s very dangerous.” Liz Cheney has plenty to worry about regarding her own campaign. Her primary opponent, attorney Harriet Hageman leads her in a Casper Star-Tribune poll 52% to 30%.

On Sunday, during an interview with perhaps her future employer, CNN, Cheney stated that if she loses her House seat over participation in endless investigations of the former president, “there’s no question,” it was worth it.

In the meantime, in an attempt to salvage what is likely her final campaign for the House, Liz Cheney decided it would be a good idea to bring in reinforcements.

Enter her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, to apparently echo the family talking points of the dangers of Donald Trump. Dick Cheney states in the ad, “In our nation’s 246-year history there has never been an individual who is a greater threat to our Republic than Donald Trump.”

It should be no surprise that the arch-neoconservative Dick Cheney is no fan of Trump, and vice versa. 

At a rally in Wyoming in May, Trump blasted the younger Cheney for “loving endless, nonsensical, bloody wars.” He added, “The Cheneys are diehard globalists and warmongers who have been plunging us into new conflicts for decades, spilling American blood and spending American treasure all over the world.”

In an amusing twist, Cheney recently told CNN’s Jake Tapper when he asked if she would consider a 2024 presidential run herself, she replied, “At this point, I have not made a decision about 2024. I’ll make a decision on 2024 down the road.”

Good luck with that Liz.

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