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Trump Makes Demand of DeSantis In Bid to Unify GOP Ahead of 2024

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former President Donald Trump argued that 2024 GOP rival Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida should end his presidential bid to unify the Republican base ahead of next year’s election.

“I think he has to get out for the good of the party. He could have waited, and he would have been the odds-on favorite for ’28, but he didn’t do that. I got him elected. If it weren’t for me, he wouldn’t be governor; he’d be working in a law office right now or doing whatever he was going to do,” Trump claimed.

DeSantis won re-election last year by nearly 20 points, which is historic for modern times in a state that has moved solidly to the right and is no longer considered a battleground during his nearly five-year tenure in the governor’s mansion.

In 2018, Trump campaigned for DeSantis, who had served most of his three terms in Congress, before launching his gubernatorial bid.

At the time, the AP reported: “DeSantis, 40, was considered an underdog before Trump tweeted his support for DeSantis in December, a month before he got into the race. Trump campaigned to help push DeSantis to a primary victory in August and came to Florida twice to propel him past Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in the final days of the election.”

“He was dead when I endorsed him, he came begging for an endorsement, and when I endorsed him he had a couple of like a rocket ship. One day! One day,” Trump to Real America’s Voice, adding that DeSantis had been down in the polls.

DeSantis won his 2018 election by a razor-thin margin.

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“He was losing at a level you would never even believe possible,” Trump added. “I even said, ‘I don’t think that if George Washington came back from the dead if Abraham Lincoln came back from the dead, I don’t think they could help you, Ron, you’re dead.'”

Trump added: “I endorsed him, and he ended up winning easily, and then we got him past the general election, running a then-very hot candidate who Ron didn’t think we could beat, but we beat him. And then three years later. They asked him, ‘Are you gonna run against the president,’ and he said ‘I have no comment.’ And I said ‘Wait a minute, did he say he has no comment? That means he’s running.'”

Trump continues to demonstrate that he is the candidate to beat for the 2024 GOP nomination after picking up another key win over the weekend.

According to the Washington Examiner, Trump won the Pray Vote Stand Summit straw poll, released on Saturday, garnering 63.9 percent versus 27.3 percent for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis a day after both addressed the event from the Family Research Center in Washington, D.C.

“DeSantis’s speech emphasized how he did not close churches during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Sunshine State, while Trump touted plans to launch a special task force to investigate people who are ‘political prisoners’ and have been persecuted by the Biden administration,” the outlet noted.

The outlet added:

No other candidate received more than 3%. Former Vice President Mike Pence got 2.2%, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) got 1.9%, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy got 1.7%, and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley got 1.5%. The highest-finishing Democratic presidential candidate in the poll was President Joe Biden with 0.9%.

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In the straw poll for Vice President, DeSantis led the field with 25.1%, Scott got 19.2%, Ramaswamy got 13.7%, and Haley got 12.5%. No other candidate got more than 10%, with Trump receiving only 1.2% of the poll. The pollster also says 17.4% of respondents wrote in a different candidate.

In the RealClearPolitics average of polling, Trump is towering over his opponents, holding a 40-point lead over the second-place DeSantis.

If Democrats and the Biden administration believed that indicting his chief rival would damage the 2024 GOP frontrunner’s brand to the point he would become an unviable contender, they were wrong.

Not only has Trump’s polling numbers rocketed since he was hit with four indictments in New York, Washington, D.C., Fulton County, Ga., and southern Florida, but he is also moving past Biden in critical swing states, according to a new survey.

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“The states that had the narrowest margin of victory for either candidate last cycle were Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, with Biden winning all but North Carolina. Across those key swing states, Trump is ahead of Biden 41% to 35%, and 24% of voters remain undecided, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll,” The Daily Caller reported on Friday.

“Among independent voters, the former president also held a slight advantage over Biden, according to the poll. Trump received 32% support among independents compared to Biden’s 30%, and 38% were undecided. Uncertain voters favored Biden over Trump at 49% to 38%,” The DC noted, citing the survey.

In a hypothetical head-to-head contest for the 2024 election, Biden and Trump are deadlocked at 39%, as per the survey. Many voters cited concerns about the president’s age, along with worries about the economy and crime, as significant factors influencing their choice.

Meanwhile, Trump was leading his likely Democratic rival in several swing states, according to polling data from Echelon Insights in July.

The survey “found that 48% of respondents in swing states would probably or definitely vote for Trump, compared to just 41% for Biden. Though Biden is narrowly favored overall by likely voters, with 43% favoring him compared to 42% for Trump, the Republican front-runner could win 270 Electoral College votes by seizing the swing states,” the Washington Examiner reported.

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