Republican donors are looking for “credible alternatives” to Donald Trump and his most likely successor seems to be Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
There have been hints at some tension between DeSantis and Trump, as Trump has not endorsed DeSantis’ 2022 gubernatorial re-election bid, and DeSantis has declined to ask Trump for an endorsement.
DeSantis seems to be positioning for a run, and the GOP donors and insiders are also ready to back DeSantis for President. Not only is DeSantis receiving attention from the donors and insiders, but also California Governor Gavin Newsom. Some have suggested we will see a DeSantis vs. Newsom 2024 matchup. The GOP should welcome that matchup.
In January, an insider said DeSantis’ goal was to raise $150 million for his reelection campaign. It was reported that DeSantis raised $100 million so far, and he could use some of that money for a potential Presidential run in 2024.
One major GOP fundraiser, Eric Levine, said the revelations about January 6 unnerved the confidence of many Trump bankrollers.
Following the uproar over the “Don’t Say Gay” bill and the legislation disbanding Disney’s self-governing agreement, a Florida fundraiser said:
“I think what he’s done is given courage to Republican leaders all across the country that hey, you can take on culture wars, you can take on the Disneys of the world.”
DeSantis has not said whether he will run or not, as the candidates who plan to run in the GOP Presidential primary will announce their runs after the midterm elections. Though some might want to get a head start and announce their run as soon as possible, some may wait to see if Trump decides to run to improve their chance of being on the 2024 ticket, whether it’s as President or Vice President.
Some names that have been touted for a possible run: Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Nikki Haley, Tom Cotton, Larry Hogan, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, and of course, the two bigger names, Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump.
It could be a crowded field in 2024, similar to the Democratic field in 2020. The question will be: Which candidate can win over independent voters, liberal Republicans, and conservative Democrats, as well as win in key swing states, such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio.
As GOP donors and insiders move away from Trump toward DeSantis, they could be forecasting that DeSantis will be able to win in those swing states and bring forth the conservative policies without the baggage.
It’s going to be vitally important to pick a candidate who can unite independent voters, liberal Republicans, and conservative Democrats to vote for the GOP candidate in 2024. No matter who runs from the GOP side, the debates will be a must-watch — and may the best candidate win.