Ron DeSantis Enters the Race for the 2024 US Presidency 2023

Ron DeSantis, the two-term Florida governor, formally filed to run for president Wednesday, starting his much-anticipated fight with Donald Trump, who helped launch his political career but now wants to terminate it.
DeSantis will launch his candidacy Wednesday evening. He will begin his campaign alongside Elon Musk on Twitter. Since buying Twitter, the billionaire internet entrepreneur has gained a huge conservative following.

David Sacks, a software entrepreneur and DeSantis supporter, will mediate.

Musk’s tight circle of political advisers secretly negotiated his involvement with DeSantis’ presidential launch for weeks, as revealed by NBC News.

Musk’s star power may help DeSantis reverse Trump’s early lead in critical states.

DeSantis supporters expect him to swiftly regain his vitality after his November re-election.

With his hands-off attitude to the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020, DeSantis gained national support. He then put Florida at the forefront of Republican base voters’ cultural war issues.

DeSantis signed several bills to crack down on undocumented immigration, ban gender-affirming care for transgender minors, prohibit higher education institutions from spending tax dollars on most diversity programs, and, most notably, fight Disney, one of Florida’s biggest employers, over LGBTQ rights.

DeSantis’ primary program, which received fierce opposition from Democrats and a wide spectrum of activists, was overwhelmingly popular with conservatives, who began calling him “America’s Governor.” After entering the race, supporters expect DeSantis to swiftly reclaim that momentum.

“His historic Florida re-election momentum remains. Nick Ragone, a Republican bundler for DeSantis in St. Louis, stated, “Now that he is finally going to be in, it is going to be a reset for this whole campaign.” DeSantis will benefit from a two-person race. The GOP base is delighted to see Trump run.”

Last week, DeSantis made his case to funders and prominent supporters. The New York Times stated that the 25-minute discussion focused on his conservative policy accomplishments in Tallahassee since assuming office.

“He talked a ton about what he got done and through the Legislature,” a Republican on the call told NBC News. “He touched on many things, but if you did a poll of what people remember from that call, it was his pitch about why Trump can’t win.”

DeSantis enters politics at a crucial time.

Since last year, Trump has attacked DeSantis almost daily. MAGA Inc., a pro-Trump super PAC, has spent almost $15 million on television ads largely targeting DeSantis, a staggering number for a candidate who has not yet entered the race. That one-two punch has hurt DeSantis among conservatives everywhere.

The constant drumbeat has harmed DeSantis in most public polls and made him appear weak entering the presidential race.

After Trump endorsed DeSantis in 2018, he rose in national politics. DeSantis’ criticism of Trump’s Covid pandemic management during and after his failed re-election campaign strained the friendship. Although both initially supported lockdowns, DeSantis immediately reopened Florida and earned criticism for opposing mask restrictions.

Though he supported numerous election-deniers last year, DeSantis has not fully embraced Trump’s erroneous claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

DeSantis has some structural advantages, but Trump has employed blistering assaults to claim the lead.

Never Back Down, a pro-DeSantis super PAC, has collected $30 million and hired people in critical states to construct a long-term delegate strategy to defeat Trump. DeSantis raised more over $200 million for his 2022 re-election campaign, more than any US governor. He is collecting bundlers in Miami to start raising money on the day of his launch, a show of force that has drawn crowds at Republican gatherings across.

Today, we’ll raise campaign funds. “Not the super PAC stuff,” Hal Lambert told NBC News while traveling to the Miami event.

Lambert said meeting with DeSantis a month ago made choosing to support him a “no-brainer.”

“He played college baseball, served in the military, was stationed in Iraq, served in Congress, so he knows how D.C. works,” he added. “And he just does not have the same baggage.”

DeSantis spent the opening months of this year touring the country to promote his book and “Florida Blueprint.” He also met GOP activists in early primary states and states with significant nominating convention delegations. DeSantis’ presidential hopes depend on Iowa and New Hampshire.

Iowa is key this time. “If the former president wins Iowa and wins big, no one is going to stop him for the nomination,” said Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of the socially conservative Family Leader and a key GOP Iowa operator. “Iowa might not always pick the primary winner, but it is crucial to narrowing the field.”

Vander Plaats, who says he remains friends with Trump but is looking for a new Republican standard-bearer, has met with DeSantis in Tallahassee and likes the governor, but he is also meeting with most other Republican candidates before his organization’s mid-July presidential summit.

DeSantis was the headline speaker at the New Hampshire party’s Amos Tuck dinner, which raised approximately 10 times the typical amount. In his upcoming primary struggle with Trump, DeSantis raised over $130,000 directly through his donor network.

A longtime New Hampshire GOP operator says Trump raised zero funds in his seven years as president and not president. DeSantis raised $132,500 overnight. He’s a risk-taker.”

With at least seven other GOP candidates running and more likely to join, many Republicans are still undecided about whether DeSantis can defeat Trump and face US President Joe Biden.

Trump’s MAGA supporters will support him no matter what, so expanding the field helps him. Thus, more competitors dilute DeSantis’ Republican primary electorate vote. Trump has not denied that a large field benefits him. He recently lauded Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.

Governors Doug Burgum, Chris Sununu, and Glen Youngkin have also shown interest in running. Last month, millionaire GOP contributor Thomas Peterffy gave Youngkin $1 million, days after saying he was rethinking backing DeSantis, Politico reported.

“I think it is certainly out there he (Youngkin) has thought about it and people want him to run,” said a Virginia Republican operative with links to Youngkin’s political organization. “I don’t think DeSantis is the powerhouse he was made out to be, and as it becomes clear he is not going to run away with it as the alternative to Trump, you’ll continue to see talk of the field expanding.”

MAGA Inc., the pro-Trump super PAC, has explicitly linked a swelling field of candidates to DeSantis’ struggle to secure the top non-Trump spot.

In reaction to Scott’s campaign filing, Taylor Budowich, CEO of Trump-aligned MAGA Inc., stated Friday, “Ron DeSantis’ failed shadow campaign has opened the floodgates for career politicians looking to seize an opportunity to raise their profile ahead of the 2028 race.” Scott sees the same thing as Youngkin, Sununu, Burgum, Christie, and others: the route to second place is wide open.

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