Ron DeSantis is the nation’s most beloved governor. Few would or should doubt this. However, the governor will need to tread a delicate line if he wants to translate his high approval ratings and political success into the 2024 Republican presidential nominee.
Why? Two words: Donald Trump. Or, better, in four words: Trump supporters (and) Trump detractors.
DeSantis has remained close to Trump’s public stances, even though he is more skeptical about COVID vaccines than Trump. However, this could lead to DeSantis alienating “traditional” Republicans.
DeSantis attacking Trump a tenth of the time as Trump continues to attack Trump, Trump loyalists quickly lose their minds. I’m sure you know that hypocrisy is not acceptable.
What’s DeSantis’ best course of action if he runs — all signs point to “I’m In”?
So far, DeSantis seems content to siphon off former Trump supporters by showing that he’s just as tough as Trump, but that he’s not burdened with Trump’s baggage and constant drama. It’s a winning strategy. Although it’s still too early to know, a Quinnipiac poll in February found that both Trump and DeSantis had 37 percent positive ratings. However, Trump was minus-22% — 57 percent, 35 percent — unfavorable compared to DeSantis.
A February Morning Consult poll revealed that 50% of likely Republican voters want the 2020 election to be over, while only 37% want to keep their eyes on it. A Quinnipiac survey in February found that 52 percent of Republicans support former Vice President Mike Pence’s view that Trump is constitutionally incapable of overturning the 2020 election. Only 36% supported Trump’s argument to “send it back to the states”.
As I have said before, polls and surveys are just snapshots of time. This is why I find it amusing that some people seem to be obsessed with every 2024 presidential preference survey. Given the fact that there is still a lot of water under the political bridge, between now and November 5, 20,24, there’s plenty of water. Despite this, the polls that I referenced to show that a growing number of likely Republican voters are more interested in the future than in the past.
DeSantis is still a little bit stuck in 2020’s election business.
DeSantis who focuses solely on Biden and the future and refuses Trump’s tit-for-tat and does not talk about 2020 will likely appeal to more voters. He runs the risk of alienating Trump’s faithful, the “MAGA Republicans,” who remain as passionate as ever.
Whatever the outcome, Ron DeSantis will need help from Donald Trump if he wants to win the 2024 Republican presidential nominee nomination. His history of self-inflicted and unforced errors is legendary.