Ron DeSantis Launches Himself Into (At Least) Second Place For 2024 – So Far

Ron DeSantis: Waiting In The Wings For 2024?
DeSantis: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) Gage Skidmore 12/22/18 Trump: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) Gage Skidmore 10/29/16

Most political nerds know that the 2024 race for the White House will begin immediately following the midterm election in November. And while the biggest question mark for Republicans currently is whether or not former President Donald Trump gets in the race, another name is being mentioned more and more, that of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The firebrand conservative is already widely-known in conservative circles, but McClatchy points out that his name is rapidly expanding out nationwide among all the people one would need in order to make a run for the White House.

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People Are Talking

Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, also popular among conservatives, recently relayed a story to McClatchy:

“The name I hear most frequently talking to people is Ron DeSantis. What they said to me all the time is, they feel like DeSantis has the kind of guts, the same kind of backbone as Trump, but is the newer, younger, fresher version. That’s what I hear repeatedly.”

And while there seems to be no middle ground where Donald Trump is concerned – there are either strong supporters or the never-Trump crowd – there might be an area where DeSantis could have a unifying effect. 

Some conservatives might argue, however, that the national media is beginning to promote DeSantis specifically because it would decrease Trump’s power. And after all, Trump is Public Enemy #1.

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Interesting Polling Data

Polling data for Ron DeSantis has remained fairly consistent. Back in February at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), their yearly presidential straw poll had Trump up over DeSantis 58% to 28%.

In just three months however, things had changed. In May at the Wisconsin Republican State Convention, DeSantis had taken over the lead by a slight margin of 38% to 32%.

A recent New York Times/Siena College poll showed 49% of likely GOP primary voters said they would vote for Trump. Coming in second at 25% was Ron DeSantis.

As for the GOP establishment, CNBC recently reported that the ongoing January 6 Committee hearings have made several high dollar GOP donors skittish about Trump (as if they weren’t all along.) The report also stated that some who spoke anonymously stated a desire to see anyone other than Trump be the Republican nominee.

DeSantis has his own share of large dollar donors, but he also has a large amount of small dollar donors as well, with one third of those donations coming from outside of Florida, totaling roughly $50 million.

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DeSantis In 2024 Or 2028?

Donald Trump has definitely ruled DeSantis in as a potential 2024 running mate. In a recent interview with Newsmax’s Rob Finnerty, Trump laid it out as a definite possibility. Finnerty asked, “Could you envision a world, sir, where there is a Trump-DeSantis ticket?”

Trump replied, “Well, I get along with him. I was very responsible for his success, because I endorsed him and he went up like a rocket ship.” Even back in 2021, Trump was asked if he would consider a Trump/DeSantis ticket. His response was, “sure I would.”  

But while many Republicans are deciding between Trump and DeSantis, other names have been mentioned, such as former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Rick Scott of Florida, and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. 

Conservatives who like both Trump and DeSantis seem to be split on the idea if DeSantis should go up against Trump in 2024, or wait until 2028 when he may have a bit more of a clear pathway. 

Walker says he would be fine with DeSantis going for it in ’24. He said, “It’ll be good to have a debate about the future of the party and the future of the country.”

And if nothing else, mind blowingly entertaining.

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