Donald Trump’s supporters “erupted” after the 45th President claimed the Sunshine State would re-elect Governor Ron DeSantis on November 8, a conservative commentator has claimed. Mr Trump returned to Florida yesterday to provide support for Senator Marco Rubio.
Speaking about key races in the Sunshine State on Tuesday, the ex-POTUS said: “The people of Florida are going to re-elect the wonderful, the great, a friend of mine, Marco Rubio, to the United States Senate.
“And you’re going to re-elect Ron DeSantis as the Governor of your state.
“And you’re going to elect an incredible slate of MAGA warriors to Congress, many of whom are here right now.”
The crowd could be heard cheering when Mr Trump referred to Mr Rubio.
However, supporters appeared to take it up a decibel when Mr DeSantis’ name was mentioned.
Charlie Kirk, who co-founded Turning Point USA in 2012, claimed: “Miami-Dade rally erupts as Trump tells them to re-elect Ron DeSantis Governor of Florida.”
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Mr DeSantis also held rallies in Florida yesterday, including in Hillsborough, Sarasota and Lee.
The incumbent Governor told supporters: “Voters need to make sure the people who were fighting to lock kids out of school, they need to be voted out of office this November.”
According to the polling website FiveThirtyEight, Mr Rubio has opened up a nine-point lead over ex-Orlando Police Department Chief Val Demmings.
Mr DeSantis’ lead in the Sunshine State’s gubernatorial contest is even greater, with FiveThirtyEight handing the potential presidential candidate a double-digit advantage over ex-Governor Charlie Crist.
However, Mr Trump’s apparent support for Mr DeSantis during his appearance in Florida comes just days after he nicknamed the incumbent Governor “Ron DeSanctimonious”.
Speaking in Pennsylvania, the 45th President said: “We are winning big, big, big in the Republican Party for the nomination.
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“Let’s see: Trump at 71, Ron DeSanctimonious at 10 percent.”
However, other polling companies suggest Mr Trump’s lead is not quite as emphatic, with Big Village putting Mr DeSantis just 23 percent behind.
Mr DeSantis was once a key supporter of Mr Trump and even claimed he could not name a single issue where he disagreed with the 45th President.
However, amid growing speculation about the Florida Governor’s White House ambitions, a rift has emerged between the Republican frontrunners.
Despite speculation about a Trump-DeSantis primary election, a report in Vanity Fair has indicated that the ex-Lieutenant Commander might bow out of the 2024 race.
A source said: “He can walk into the presidency in 2028 without p***ing off Trump or Florida.”
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A GOP strategist in Florida indicated that Republicans in the Sunshine State are much more focused on winning key Senate, House and gubernatorial races on Tuesday than looking to who might run in 2024.
They told Express.co.uk: “I will let the 2024 stuff play out later.”
The campaigner added: “The Florida GOP was successful at the ballot box in 2020 for President Trump and we will repeat that in 2022 for Ron DeSantis because we don’t chase the shiny objects. We focus on our roles, goals and execution.”
But DeSantis has also been somewhat coy in public whenever he is asked about whether he will stand.
During a recent gubernatorial TV debate, he said: “I know that Charlie’s interested in talking about 2024, in Joe Biden.
“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.”