Rupert Murdoch’s Shifting Support: From DeSantis to Youngkin for 2024 Presidential Race?

Rupert Murdoch’s shifting support within the Republican Party has been making waves in political circles. The media mogul, known for his influential media empire including Fox News, is reportedly souring on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and expressing interest in Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin as a potential candidate for the 2024 presidential race.

According to reports, Murdoch has privately expressed his desire for Youngkin to enter the race.[0] This comes as a surprise, as Youngkin had initially ruled out a run, but speculation resurfaced in May that he might reconsider.[0] DeSantis’ perceived struggling campaign has caused growing dissatisfaction within Murdoch’s media organizations, including Fox News.[0]

The New York Times reported that Murdoch is still privately hoping that Youngkin will enter the expansive GOP field.[1] Although Youngkin has consistently expressed his commitment to the Virginia state elections this year, there are individuals within the party who are urging him to reassess his priorities in light of DeSantis’ challenges.[2]

It is an interesting twist in the political landscape, as Murdoch reportedly backs Youngkin for 2024.[3] Youngkin, however, has publicly said he has no intention of running.[3] Despite this, Murdoch is reportedly casting about for another Republican candidate to support in 2024, not Trump.[4]

One possibility that has been floated is Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin. Youngkin, who hasn’t joined the legion of candidates running for the GOP nomination, might be “exactly what people like Murdoch hoped DeSantis would be.”[4] He embraces conservative values, but does so in a more subtle and restrained manner compared to others who ardently advocate for the right-wing agenda.[4] However, the Virginia governor has said he plans to remain in his current position.[4] Thus, the Murdochs may be stuck with DeSantis after all.[4]

This shift in support reflects a broader evolution in Republican politics. Trump’s relationship with Fox News has become tense, and he feels snubbed by their coverage of DeSantis’ ascent, leading to a strain in their ties.[0] Murdoch and his media properties have moved away from supporting Trump and, in some cases, launched scathing attacks on the former president.[1]

However, Murdoch’s reported shift in support may pose a problem for him. The kind of rhetoric used against DeSantis is likely to make it difficult for Murdoch and his media properties to pivot back to Trump ahead of the 2024 election.[1] There appears to be no clear alternative for the media mogul at this stage.[1]

DeSantis has encountered numerous setbacks in his presidential campaign over the past few months.[5] His campaign launch was plagued with glitches and his performance has failed to meet the high expectations set by Trump.[0] DeSantis has faced increased scrutiny from even conservative media outlets, such as Fox News.[0]

DeSantis’ low-charisma campaign style and his pandering to the far right have also been widely criticized.[6] Rolling Stone reported that Murdoch has come to the conclusion that DeSantis is “awkward” on the trail and has erred by making his campaign a “nonstop cultural-grievance factory.”[6] Some Republicans have expressed confusion and outrage over DeSantis’ anti-gay bigotry, which has only further damaged his campaign.[7]

Despite these setbacks and criticisms, DeSantis still has a strong base of support. Around 35% of respondents in a recent poll said they strongly support DeSantis, while 33% said they strongly support Disney.[8] However, his numbers lag behind former President Trump, who still holds a significant lead in most poll averages.[9]

Murdoch’s shifting support within the Republican Party highlights the complexities and uncertainties of the upcoming 2024 presidential election. As the race begins to take shape, it remains to be seen how Murdoch’s media organizations will navigate their coverage and support for different candidates. The Murdochs may find themselves stuck with DeSantis or forced to crawl back to Trump if they can’t find a viable alternative.[4] Regardless, their influence and strategic moves will undoubtedly have an impact on the dynamics of the Republican primary and the general election.

0. “Is Rupert Murdoch already convinced that DeSantis is losing? Here’s all we know” Hindustan Times, 13 Jul. 2023,

1. “Fox News Has a Republican Problem” Newsweek, 13 Jul. 2023,

2. “Fox News and the Murdochs are turning on DeSantis” Business Insider, 12 Jul. 2023,

3. “Rupert Murdoch Has a New Favorite Republican Candidate for 2024” The New Republic, 12 Jul. 2023,

4. “Rupert Murdoch has reportedly soured on the Florida governor” The Week, 13 Jul. 2023,

5. “Trump attacks ‘no personality’ DeSantis and repeats election lies in Nevada” The Guardian US, 9 Jul. 2023,

6. “Rupert Murdoch reportedly has a new idea to defeat Donald Trump.” Slate, 12 Jul. 2023,

7. “DeSantis’ Iowa gaffe is indicative of a bigger problem” MSNBC, 9 Jul. 2023,

8. “Florida poll: Florida voters deeply divided over DeSantis vs. Disney battle” South Florida Sun Sentinel, 10 Jul. 2023,

9. “Conservative media’s tone shift on Ron DeSantis” Axios, 12 Jul. 2023,

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