Last updated on May 31st, 2023 at 02:36 am
Is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on the verge of announcing his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election? Many political analysts have been asking this question for months now, and a new report from NBC News suggests that Ron DeSantis may be targeting mid-May for the launch of a 2024 presidential exploratory committee. However, it is not yet clear whether he will proceed with a full-blown campaign.
Ron DeSantis January Poll
Ron DeSantis has been leading the polls among Republican primary voters in the state of New Hampshire, according to a January poll from the University of New Hampshire. In that poll, Ron DeSantis held a 12-point lead over President Donald Trump. However, more recent polls suggest that Ron DeSantis’ support has been slipping, with some polls showing him stuck in the low twenties.
In 2022, a law known as the Parental Rights in Education Act, dubbed by some as the "Don't Say Gay" law, was signed by Governor DeSantis. This law prohibited teachers in kindergarten through Grade 3 from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity. Presently, there is a proposal to broaden the law to apply to all grades. The law ignited a significant debate, with people staging protests against it. Employees at Disney World, a major Florida employer, urged the company to take a stand against the law. Eventually, the CEO of Disney spoke out, expressing support for LGBTQ+ workers and their families, and held discussions with the governor regarding their concerns.
Apart from this flurry of activity may be seen as self-serving by primary voters, particularly since Ron DeSantis signed a law that would allow him to run for president without resigning as governor.
DeSantis’ poll numbers now resemble those of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on the Democratic side, according to CNN. A recent Fox News poll shows DeSantis at 21%, compared to 19% for Kennedy. DeSantis’ support has dropped in the two Fox polls published since February, and he now trails Trump by 32 points.
President Trump continues to solidify his hold on the 2024 GOP primary, and DeSantis has been trying to navigate the political minefield as he moves towards a presidential announcement in May or June. However, recent polls suggest that Trump’s efforts to bury DeSantis have been paying off.
In a survey conducted by Yahoo News/YouGov at the end of March, Trump was leading among Republicans and independents who lean Republican with 57% support in a potential 2024 presidential primary face-off against DeSantis. Some analysts attributed this surge in Trump’s popularity to the media attention generated by his indictment by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg, which related to hush money payments made to Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.
DeSantis supporters argue that it’s still early and that the governor has yet to announce his candidacy. However, a bump in support from 20% to 25% is unlikely to make a big impact in the race. While DeSantis is in a stronger position today than Scott Walker was when he joined the 2016 GOP primary race for the presidential nomination, it remains to be seen whether DeSantis can overcome Trump’s dominance in the field.
The next 30 to 60 days will be pivotal for DeSantis as he makes final preparations for formally announcing his candidacy. Which way will his support start moving after he announces? Only time will tell.