There is no doubt that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is the early frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination – if he chooses to run. It appears that he is leaning in that direction, and the political winds are pushing him ahead.
I have previously written that DeSantis should run — even if former President Trump is in the race. I have stated that he would beat Trump – with the possible exception of another 16 Republicans entering the contest and dividing the anti-Trump vote evenly. That is unlikely to happen again.
I based my recommendation to DeSantis on my belief that Trump was not nearly as popular with Republican voters as both the Democrats and Trump like to claim. Current information suggests I was correct.
Trump is not only cratering, but he has become politically toxic among a very wide band of American voters – including a majority of Republican voters. The Democrat-owned news media are no longer calling Trump’s GOP nomination “inevitable” – they are no longer saying that the Republican nomination was his for the asking.
The recent U.S. Today poll has DeSantis as the Republican voters’ choice for 2024 – and it is not even close. The Florida Governor trumps the former President. While 31 percent want Trump to run again, 61 percent do not. Other polls are showing similar numbers.
That is why Democrats and their media cronies have now turned all their partisan political guns on DeSantis. Remember, the left-wing press is devoted to defeating Republican (conservative) candidates in every office – from President to school board. Theirs’ is a partisan mission. They have sold out to the Democratic Party. Their vision is a one-party rule, with Washington being the control point. Make no mistake about it, today’s Democrat leaders and NOT democrats.
They are still going after Trump – even though they know he is no longer the dominant force in the Republican Party. They want to drive every last nail in his political coffin – which he helped them build – because Trump is the centerpiece of the attack on ALL Republicans. If the voting public does not see Republicans as the Party of Trump, Democrats may be the losers.
Poll after poll shows that DeSantis is more than a threat to Trump. He is the current game changer. Without a single attack on Trump, DeSantis is proving that the king has no clothes. Trump is not invincible. He never was, but now even the illusion is fading away.
But … before DeSantis gets too confident, he should look at the record of early frontrunners. At this time in 2016, most pundits and polls gave the nomination to Florida Governor Jeb Bush. We all know how that turned out. Hillary Clinton was the leading candidate early on – until a young upstart named Barack Obama flew past her in 2008. There was a time when Kamala Harris was ahead of Joe Biden in the early days of the 2020 campaign season. Go back in history and check out Jack Kemp, Rudy Giuliani, Lyndon Johnson, Morris Udall, and Paul Tsongas – all early frontrunners.
There are reasons why early frontrunners do not do well. One is voter fatigue. After month after month of seeing one candidate in the news every day, that fresh face is … well … refreshing. Also, early frontrunners not only get most of the media attention but also get most of the media attacks.
This is happening to DeSantis – arguably more than even most early frontrunners. The left-wing media fears DeSantis, so they are pulling out all stops to tarnish his image and undermine his chances. Because they see him as the candidate who can beat Biden – or his replacement – the media is in full character assassination mode.
DeSantis cannot stop being noticed, but he can tamper down his own publicity machine in these early days. He can give the left a smaller target, at least for the next six to eight months – before the presidential campaign season gets into full gear.
He should let the media chew on Trump’s political carcass without being pulled into the issues surrounding the former President. DeSantis does not need to take on Trump to outrun him. He is doing that already. This is a time DeSantis should keep a low profile as much as possible – focusing on retail politics in key primary states.