OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis has essentially ruled out a 2024 presidential bid, choosing instead to run for reelection this year and remain for the full four-year term.
But if he were to decide he wanted to run during the next presidential cycle, a new survey published Wednesday suggests that he would do well.
DeSantis is actually tied now with the Republican Party’s de facto standard-bearer, former President Donald Trump, in some favorables, the Washington Examiner reported.
And in other areas, he actually scores better than Trump.
“In the latest Rasmussen Reports survey, DeSantis and Trump are even with a 52% approval in the national poll of likely voters. And he surpasses Trump on the disapproval rating with 33% to the former president’s 45%,” the outlet reported.
“Among those with a ‘very favorable impression’ in the survey, it’s DeSantis over Trump 37%-35%, according to the analysis,” the outlet continued, adding: “But with Republicans, it’s Trump, 83% favorable, to 76% favorable for DeSantis.”
For most of the past year, DeSantis has been viewed as the 2024 GOP presidential heir-apparent if the former president decides he doesn’t want to run again. But Trump has strongly hinted on a number of occasions that he wants another crack at the White House. President Joe Biden has pledged to run again should Trump get into the race.
And the 45th president remains the most preferred GOP candidate, leading DeSantis in every 2024 survey, the Washington Examiner noted. But
“Rasmussen tested that matchup again and found Trump leading DeSantis by nearly 2-to-1. Asked who would win the nomination if both ran, 40% said Trump and 22% DeSantis. Nearly 40% said ‘neither’ or ‘not sure,'” the outlet said.
In a GOP primary though, just Republican voters matter, and in that, they picked Tump over DeSantis 59-23 percent, the survey said.
Recent polling has also indicated that a pairing of the two men for 2024 would be a strong draw for GOP voters. But most likely, according to party insiders, Trump would be pressured to pick a female or black running mate.
As for DeSantis, a report this week said he has raised a monster amount of cash for his reelection.
The popular GOP leader and Navy veteran has raised an astounding $100 million as he prepares to do battle with a Democratic contender not yet known since the state has not yet held its primaries.
The Washington Examiner noted the figure may have DeSantis earning the title of the “first-ever candidate in the United States to raise more than $100 million only in donations,” though other outlets point out that former President Donald Trump continues to lead the pack in this area through his Save America PAC.
According to Ballotpedia, the Florida governor “received $109,869,159 in total contributions and spent $13,706,657 between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021,” giving him a very large war chest going into the 2022 election.
“DeSantis continues to be a top draw with the high-end dollar market,” GOP fundraiser and lobbyist David Tamasi told Fox News. “The trick will be to translate an expected November win into a monopoly.”
2022 FLORIDA GOVERNOR POLL:
Ron DeSantis (R): 49% (+16)
Charlie Crist (D): 33%
Ron DeSantis (R): 51% (+24)
Nikki Fried (D): 27%
Ron DeSantis (R): 49% (+19)
Annette Taddeo (D): 30%
February 28-March 12 / 500 RVhttps://t.co/U9QXHGgKJl pic.twitter.com/8j7Dgqq4SL
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) March 29, 2022
Right now, there doesn’t seem to be any Democrat with enough electoral firepower to win in Florida, which recently logged more GOP voter registrations for the first time ever than Democratic voters. And while DeSantis is governor, the fact that Trump also makes his home in the Sunshine State may also be part of the draw.
Earlier this year, there were reports that both camps were involved in increasingly coarse exchanges, but Trump and DeSantis both since dismissed them as incorrect.
“Ron has been very good,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “He’s been a friend of mine for a long time. It’s totally fake news.