Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Enters 2024 Presidential Race as Trump-Style Conservative, Challenging Former Ally Trump

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has officially announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidential race.[0] He made the announcement during a Twitter conversation with billionaire Elon Musk, who owns the platform.[1] DeSantis is positioning himself as a Trump-style conservative without the Trump baggage, adopting the former president’s fiery personality, populist policies, and even some of his rhetoric and mannerisms.[2] However, he enters a race in which Trump remains the clear frontrunner and the dominant force in the Republican Party. With DeSantis officially in the race, he is expected to become the chief challenger to Trump, his former ally.

Under DeSantis’ leadership, Florida has become known for its bitter feuds, transforming it from a state once considered a political barometer into a hard-right state in the aftermath of the pandemic.[3] In certain circles, his popularity rose due to his disdain towards policies related to vaccine and mask mandates.[3] Last year, he won his re-election with ease against a lackluster Democratic opponent by portraying himself as a less-incriminated version of Trump, who had previously supported him.[3] [3] His relentless campaign against abortion has drawn criticism for its extreme fervor, while his reluctance to be transparent has raised concerns about his autocratic tendencies.[3]

DeSantis also faced controversy when he signed a bill into law that will change Florida’s “Resign to Run” rules. Florida lawmakers crafted an exception to the state’s resign-to-run law, and DeSantis reportedly has the bill for his signature. The amendment gave DeSantis the “all-clear” to run for president while maintaining his status as governor.[4]

However, DeSantis is not without his challenges in the race. Polls last year showed him running neck-and-neck, or even leading, Trump.[5] They now have Trump with more than 50% in many surveys of Republican voters, while DeSantis trails by double digits.[6] Even if DeSantis consolidated all the non-Trump voters, he would still trail Trump in the RealClearPolitics aggregate of polls.[6]

DeSantis faces off against other Republican contenders, including former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov.[7] Tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy was joined by Asa Hutchinson and Sen. Tim Scott from South Carolina.[8] It is anticipated that the former Vice President, Mike Pence, will also join the competition.[8]

As DeSantis officially launches his campaign, he immediately becomes the most formidable contender to dethrone former President Donald Trump from atop the Republican Party. The winner of the nomination will face Democrat Joe Biden in the general election in November 2024.[2]

0. “Ron DeSantis files paperwork to run for president in 2024” CBS News, 24 May. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ron-desantis-2024-presidential-run-paperwork-twitter-spaces/

1. “Team DeSantis campaign staff is assembled – and it includes ex-Trump officials” Fox News, 24 May. 2023, https://www.foxnews.com/politics/team-ron-desantis-campaign-staff-assembled-includes-ex-trump-officials

2. “Ron DeSantis launches 2024 presidential campaign” WPBF West Palm Beach, 24 May. 2023, https://www.wpbf.com/article/florida-desantis-presidential-campaign-announcement-trump-rivalry/43986220

3. “Ron DeSantis Twitter Launch Signals Culture-War Campaign” TIME, 24 May. 2023, https://time.com/6282255/ron-desantis-elon-musk-campaign-culture-war/

4. “DeSantis to give himself permission to run for president under bill” USA TODAY, 24 May. 2023, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2023/05/23/florida-desantis-president-election-law-2024/70250333007/

5. “What Jewish voters need to know about Ron DeSantis” The Jerusalem Post, 24 May. 2023, https://www.jpost.com/american-politics/article-744160

6. “Can Ron DeSantis really beat Donald Trump in the 2024 Republican race?” BBC, 24 May. 2023, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-65693652

7. “Ron DeSantis: 10 things to know about the Republican White House hopeful” The Guardian US, 24 May. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/may/24/ron-desantis-republican-president-candidate-facts

8. “DeSantis signs law to hold down two jobs: governor and 2024 candidate” Business Insider, 24 May. 2023, https://www.businessinsider.com/desantis-signs-bill-to-have-two-jobs-governor-2024-candidate-2023-5

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