Is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis running for president?
The question has been lingering, unanswered, for months now.
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DeSantis is a favorite in polls, trending ahead even of former president Donald Trump.
But until DeSantis declares, we’ll be limited strictly to speculation – about whether he will run, and about how exactly he will run.
Ron DeSantis is Trending
DeSantis is a former representative who has gained acclaim as the governor of Florida. DeSantis just won reelection over former GOP governor (turned Democrat) Charlie Crist.
DeSantis blew Crist out of the water, registering a twenty-point margin.
The margins that DeSantis beat Crist by demonstrate just how viable DeSantis is. Trump for example, who is also from Florida (technically) never won the state with a 20-point margin.
Why the GOP Loves Him
DeSantis has become exceedingly popular with a combination of blood-red ideology and political stuntsmanship.
DeSantis has repeatedly made national headlines. For example, DeSantis flouted the CDC’s COVID-19 recommendations during the early days of the pandemic. The move delighted conservatives who were skeptical of the government and Anthony Fauci and vaccination requirements.
DeSantis made waves in similar ways on other hot button issues. Like the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill that DeSantis signed into law. The bill prevented Florida public schools from teaching children about sexuality or transgender issues or anything like that until the students reach 3rd grade. Again, conservatives ate the bill up – in part because liberals hated the bill so much.
DeSantis also boosted his conservative credibility when he went after Disney Corporation.
And most infamously, DeSantis chartered a plane, loaded the plane full of migrants, and flew the plane to Martha’s Vineyard.
The point was obvious – it was a way to say to liberals who advocate for open borders policies that those liberals are isolated from the consequences of open border policies. Still, using human beings as a political prop like that was rude – but again, conservatives ate it up.
The result of all the maneuvering and statesmanship is that DeSantis has become a leader in polls, edging out Donald Trump.
Actually, a USA TODAY/Suffolk University showed that GOP voters preferred DeSantis with a stunning twenty-three-point margin to Trump. The poll also indicated that voters wanted to preserve Trump’s policies, but the voters did not want Trump to be the vessel of those Trump policies.
Instead, the voters wanted DeSantis to be the vessel of Trump’s policies.
How Will DeSantis Run?
If DeSantis enters the 2024 GOP race, how will he run his race? Will he run from the right of Trump? It’s going to be hard to run to the right of Trump but certainly possible. DeSantis could criticize Trump for allowing Fauci and the CDC to have so much influence throughout the early days of the pandemic.
The truth is DeSantis is cut from the same cloth as Trump.
As Trump himself likes to point out, DeSantis basically is Trump. So, DeSantis will have to be creative to market himself as an alternative to Trump. But DeSantis should be able to figure it out – he’s done an excellent job marketing himself so far, expect him to continue doing so.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken.