As Republicans maintain focus on winning back Congress this November more conservatives are looking even further ahead to the next presidential election and who might be the prime Republican to lead the GOP back to the White House. It’s no secret that Donald Trump is seriously considering a third presidential run in 2024 but after a heartbreaking loss in 2020 and a subsequent riot which Democrats now use as ammunition against the right, some conservatives say it’s time for the party to look forward–and beyond Trump.
The current favorite to become the 2024 Republican nominee if Trump doesn’t launch a campaign is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis–whose political popularity was boosted by Trump himself when the former President endorsed the then-Congressman to run for governor.
DeSantis’s bold leadership throughout the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with his conservative values have helped make him a household name and a figure impossible to ignore when discussing the next presidential election. The Florida Republican is one of the few presidential contenders that has said he has no intention of basing his political plans on Trump’s future and has even refused to ask Trump for an endorsement for his gubernatorial re-election campaign.
DeSantis has repeatedly said he is solely focused on his re-election campaign but his calculated decisions to seemingly distance himself from Trump could indicate his desire to set himself apart as a leader in his own right, as opposed to a politician piggy-backing on Trump’s success.
While Trump still remains the top Republican contender amongst a pool of hypothetical candidates according to nearly all polls a recent study shows that undecided Republicans are leaning towards DeSantis. Impact Social analyzed the online and social media discussion in relation to Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump among swing voters from June 1 to June 14, 2022.
“To them, he is the rightful heir and suggest the former president step aside and allow the younger man to run the gauntlet,” the analysis said of the majority of surveyed voters.
The report noted that while Trump’s name is undoubtedly more notorious and has a larger presence on social media than DeSantis, much of the content associated with Trump attracts more negative sentiments.
“[Trump’s] time has come and gone. He carries too much baggage, he’s too impulsive in his communication style. He would be 79 and so many still hate him, they would vote for anyone over him,” Tawn Ulbrich Otrhalek, a retired mom who describes herself as both Christian and conservative, told The Epoch Times.
“DeSantis, on the other hand is a rising star. He’s younger, and what he’s done and is doing for Florida pre- and post-pandemic is what he would do for the rest of the country if he were president,” she continued.