The electoral campaign for the White House in 2024 heats up with a duel that promises to be fierce: the popular president of Florida, the ultra-conservative Ron DeSantis, will compete for the internal Republican party, which today is led by the controversial Donald Trump; as formalized this Wednesday. But he began to feel bad on his feet.
The launch of DeSantis, 44, who many consider “the Trump with the brains,” was widely expected but was a long time coming. First, he formally presented the documents to the electoral authority on Wednesday, then uploaded his documents to the network and later had a conversation on Twitter live with Elon Musk, the owner of the social network, who has become a fervent Republican.
DeSanti’s strategy with the billionaire platform has attracted an audience of 140 million followers not only in the United States of America, but all over the world. But his proposal turned out to be a real mess because the chat space in the network collapsed since it started and hangs for about 20 minutes with “technical problems”. Unsurprisingly, Twitter was abuzz with memes mocking Musk and DeSantis.
Other images of Musk’s rocket exploding in the sky, others like Trump’s son, Donald Jr, nicknamed DeSantis “DeSaster” (a reference to his father’s death). President Joe Biden laughed off a tweet that referred to a link from the campaign: “This page is working,” he wrote. The paper will certainly be mentioned in any debate with Trump.
Trump comfortably leads the internal Republican Party today with 53% of the vote over DeSanti’s 26% (the others have fallen further), according to CNN polls published this Wednesday. But 2024 is still far away and everything can change: according to the same poll, a large group of voters (80%) aligned with the Republicans want to consider either one or more other candidates.
Protesters outside the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami, Florida on May 24, 2023, with Florida President Ron DeSantis. AFP photo
DeSantis is an ultra-conservative who claims to be “fighting for freedom,” a “war sent by God” and who fights against undocumented immigrants and all “woke” or progressive cultural interests.
A lawyer graduated from prestigious universities such as Yale and Harvard, DeSantis joined the army of “Top Gun” and came to fight in Iraq. Married to a TV reporter with three children, he later devoted himself to politics, first as a state congressman until he became governor. He took flight when faced with a pandemic (especially during the Joe Biden era), closing businesses and resisting the use of mask mandates.
He also lowered taxes and the Sunshine State became a great place for many big-city Americans who wanted a milder climate and paid less.
When DeSantis won his re-election to the presidency of Florida last year, the constitutional party said enough of scandals, lawsuits and anti-democratic episodes, as the challenge of Congress was carried out by the former president.
And he began to set his sights on a conservative or conservative candidate more than a mogul, but more inclined to administration than to controversies and eloquence: DeSantis called him “Trumpier Trump” or, as he put it, christened. Financial Times “Trump with brains and no drama”.
In addition, DeSantis has a more solid political life and a traditional and already scandal-free family, in contrast to the profile that the previous president had with women who left the Republican Party. Interventions, such as the Foxes and large donors, began to support him. Many see him as a younger candidate with an infant son and a better chance of taking on 80-year-old Joe Biden.
According to Quinnipiac polls, Trump could get 46% of the vote to Biden’s 48%, while DeSantis would have 47% to 46% of Democrats. About the same, despite the fact that the governor of Florida has barely appeared on the national stage.
Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump at the White House in 2018. AP Photo
in the same space
Trump is aware of his risk and has already named him “DeSanctimonius”, a play on his last name and “prudence” in English. In addition, he called him “ungrateful” because he believed that he had helped him politically in his early years as a leader. DeSantis generally does not respond to him. It is estimated that the level of anger will increase over time, especially if DeSantis rises to the challenge.
Without too much charisma and sympathy, this last year DeSantis moved to support his aggressive and ultra-conservative sphere to fight Trump in the country: he fought mercilessly against undocumented immigrants, in Congress he promoted the ban on abortion after the sixth hour. pregnancy week, the removal of racial diversity programs in public universities, or the ban on sex education in schools, to name a few.
One of those laws, which was “Don’t be gay,” pitted her against the entertainment giant Disney and took away her autonomy in her Orlando park.
Sean Freeder, professor of political science at the University of North Florida, said Clarín “De Santis occupy almost the same political space as Trump in the extreme right. The main difference between the two is not their ideology, but their approach to politics in general: De Santis is more “programmatic” a politician, focused on political action, while Trump is more focused on rhetoric and the public. With the discussions starting in a few months, I don’t think they will find many areas of disagreement in the policy, but rather they differ in what they want to emphasize.”
“DeSantis can absolutely beat Trump in the primary, but it will be a tough fight, because Trump already enjoys a very high position in the party,” says the expert.
“To win, De Santis will have to convince the party and its base that Trump is an erratic dram who will continue to damage the party’s brand and will be less likely to be nominated in 2024. De Santis will have relatively little trouble convincing the party that the Republican establishment has long been waiting for a path to Trump’s power. escape, but it is much more difficult to convince the base”.
And he concludes: “As at this time, Trump is probably considered the presumptive favorite, but De Santis can win and his poll numbers will improve. The same probably cannot be said of any other Republican entering the race.