Governor Ron DeSantis’ Florida win may be the platform he needs to launch a 2024 Presidential campaign. He has been seen as the most likely challenge to former President Donald Trump’s expected White House bid
Notably, he won over Latino voters in Miami-Dade, a traditionally blue district which he lost by 20 points in 2018.
In his victory speech, De Santis signalled out voters in the area, saying he was “honoured to have earned your trust and support over these four years”.
He has become something of a star in the Republican Party with his anti-woke agenda and resistance to Covid lockdowns in Florida.
“We have respected the taxpayers and we reject the woke ideology. We fight the woke in the legislature, we fight the woke in the schools, we fight the woke in the corporations. We will never ever surrender to the woke mob. Florida is where woke goes to die,” the Governor said in his victory speech.
However, there is one problem for DeSantis – former President Donald Trump
If DeSantis decides to use his extraordinary Florida win as a platform to launch a 2024 Presidential campaign – as many commentators think he might – he will likely face the wrath of the de facto leader of the party, Trump.
Trump said Monday that if DeSantis were to launch a Presidential bid he would reveal “things about him that won’t be very flattering – I know more about him than anybody – other than, perhaps, his wife”.
However, Trump later denied that there was a “tiff” between the two Republicans.
Others have urged the party to abandon Trump, pointing to triumphs by more traditional Republicans including DeSantis and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, who also won re-election.
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Conservative Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen has called the lack of a “red wave” an “absolute disaster” for the Republican Party due to the issues facing Americans and Joe Biden’s low approval rating.
He added that Republicans needed to look at their winners, including Florida Governor DeSantis, as the future of the GOP as opposed to what he called “radical candidates”.
Editor for Commentary Magazine, Noah Rothman, believes this is DeSantis’ “moment” to launch a campaign.
He wrote on Twitter: “The degree to which tonight’s results reset everything back to square one is hard to overstate. And all eyes on DeSantis, who has to know this is his moment, and he won’t get another.
“Even if he was inclined to resist a draft, he probably won’t be able to anymore. So, we get a big conservatism vs. provocativism debate. Again.”
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How well candidates endorsed by Trump do in the 2022 midterms will likely help to determine, within the party, how much support Trump gets for a 2024 run.
So far, several candidates Trump has endorsed have lost, however many others are likely to win or have won.
Notably, John Fetterman (D) beat rival Dr Mehmet Oz (R) backed by Trump in the Senate race in Pennsylvania while Trump backed Kari Lake (R) is slightly trailing Governor Katie Hobbs (D) in Arizona. The latter race is still much too close to call.
As more votes are counted, time will tell whether Republicans feel Trump’s endorsement and political participation is a blessing or a curse.