Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is reportedly telling donors he will not challenge Donald Trump for the GOP nomination for President in 2024.
This is according to a report by Vanity Fair writer Gabriel Sherman.
Sherman cites four “prominent Republicans” as sources indicating DeSantis has been telling donors he is “reconsidering” plans to launch a presidential campaign in 2024.
One of those sources stated that DeSantis “led them to believe he will not run if Trump does.”
The reasoning behind such a move involved the Florida governor’s relatively young age and the common sense notion that he’d be able to run again in the future without getting into a bare-knuckle brawl with the former president.
Such in-fighting would be bad for both men, and the GOP at large.
“Why risk a brutal primary fight against a pugilist like Trump?” one individual is quoted as saying. “He can walk into the presidency in 2028 without pissing off Trump or Florida.”
DeSantis backing away from a challenge to Trump’s nomination in 2024 makes perfect sense.
Trump has consistently bested DeSantis in polls asking about one’s preference for the GOP nomination. Florida’s governor is a solid second choice in most polls.
And with that top-tier status, running against Trump could fracture the Republican voter base enough to cause problems in the general election when there should be clear unity in defeating the Democrats.
And for what?
DeSantis could simply remain governor of Florida without much of a fight – he’s sitting with a double-digit polling advantage over his Democrat challenger – or walk away battered and bruised without a nomination to show for his efforts.
While it makes sense what those sources are telling Vanity Fair, Sherman points out that at least one other reference has indicated DeSantis is leaning the opposite way.
“One Republican close to DeSantis insisted he’s ready to launch a presidential campaign after the midterms,” Sherman writes. “‘He’s running,’ the source said.”
In a debate with Democrat challenger Charlie Crist last month, DeSantis dodged a question of whether or not he’d serve a full term as governor of Florida should he win reelection.
“I know that Charlie is itching to talk about 2024 and Joe Biden,” he fired back. “But I just want to make things very, very clear: The only worn-out old donkey I’m looking to put out to pasture is Charlie Crist.”
DeSantis has consistently indicated he is more interested in serving a second term as governor of Florida.
He is often viewed as the more “professional” version of Trump – just as strong in fighting the left and their media cohorts but in a more subtle, cutting manner.
And he sometimes earns the respect of typically left-leaning voters. New Twitter owner Elon Musk said he’s leaning toward DeSantis in 2024 after having voted Democrat his entire life.
Trump has made it very clear that he intends to run again in 2024. He’s also left the door open regarding a ticket that would include DeSantis as his vice president.
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