Ron Desantis Could Rival Trump For Republican 2024 Candidate
Donald Trump has a potential new rival for the 2024 Republican candidacy as Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis moves further into America’s political spotlight.
DeSantis, 42, is a former US Navy officer and ex-member of the House of Representatives. He narrowly beat Democrat Andrew Gillum to the Floridian governor position in 2018 and has been a vocal critic of coronavirus restrictions over the course of the past year.
The Floridian has gained notoriety during the pandemic for his success in opening up the state to business following an initial lockdown.
And as the Covid-19 vaccine drive sparks hopes that life will soon be back to normal, Americans are looking favourably on DeSantis right now.
According to a recent poll from Cygnal, DeSantis is polling with a favourability rating of 55 percent. In context, president Joe Biden currently has a 45 per cent approval rating with the conservative polling firm.
Can DeSantis Rival Trump?
And the spike in polling for DeSantis is also reflected in the US politics betting markets. Paddy Power have lifted DeSantis to the fifth favourite to win the 2024 US election.
The bookmaker has priced the Floridian at 12/1, in line with fellow Republican Nikki Haley. That gives him an implied probability of just 7.7 per cent that he would win the election.
Yet it’s still an improvement on most names and DeSantis’s movement has come about as poll ratings reflect favourably on the governor, who will have to defend his position at the next gubernatorial election in 2022.
Whether DeSantis decides to stay at the state level of politics or run for national office by then remains to be seen. But his growing popularity will likely be monitored by the Trump team.
As USA Today wrote recently, DeSantis is delivering “high-profile speeches, fights over media scrutiny, and state proposals that can appeal to Republicans nationally – and to Trump voters”.
He has been both praised for angling to get Florida’s economy back up and running, and criticised for what some believe is a lax stance on Covid.
Yet Trumpian politics thrives on fractions and DeSantis’ popularity only looks likely to increase.
Trump Still Favourite
Even with DeSantis’ boosted media profile, right now it appears as though the Republican party is geared up to elect Trump as their candidate for 2024.
Despite losing the last election by several million votes, Trump has called foul on the November vote and lodged a number of failed legal attempts to get it overturned.
Those failed miserably but the businessman, who is based in Florida, remains active in right-wing politics and is 6/1 to win the next election. That price is still behind Biden (5/1) and current favourite Kamala Harris (4/1) but it is a clear advantage over his Republican rivals.
In his latest tease about running in 2024, Trump told Fox News: "I am looking at it very seriously, beyond seriously. From a legal standpoint, I don't want to really talk about it yet, it's a little too soon."
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