Ron DeSantis Faces New Pressures to Take on Trump

( Now that Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has officially won re-election — in landslide fashion — it’s likely that the calls for him to run for president in 2024 are going to amplify in the coming months.

The fact that DeSantis won a resounding victory in his election while many other Republicans around the country struggled is further testament that he is likely the person who could take the Republican Party back to the White House in two years.

At a rally he held Tuesday night, there were chants of “two more years” that rang out among the crowd.

And while the celebration that night was because he will be serving as Florida’s governor again, it might actually end up being the first big event in his run for the Republican presidential nomination.

Former President Donald Trump is expected to announce his official candidacy for president in the near future, which would pit DeSantis against him in what could be a turbulent fight.

Trump has a large public profile, of course, but more and more Republicans are starting to believe that DeSantis would be a stronger candidate in the general election against a Democrat than Trump would. This has many donors supporting DeSantis over Trump, in hopes that the Florida governor would claim the Republican nomination.

In an op-ed that he wrote for CNN on Wednesday, Scott Jennings, who served as an advisor to both Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and former President George W. Bush, wrote:

“DeSantis made a convincing case that he, rather than Trump, gives Republicans the best chance to defeat Biden (or some other Democrat) in 2024.”

DeSantis won the Florida election by 20 points, and flipped the traditionally blue Miami-Dade County.

While it was a great night for DeSantis, it was not a good one for Trump. Many of the midterm candidates who were endorsed by Trump lost in their general election against their Democratic opponents. Some political pundits believe this is why the red wave that many people were expecting to happen never came to fruition.

Trump-backed candidates who lost include Mehmet Oz, in Pennsylvania’s Senate election, as well as gubernatorial candidates in the states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Other candidates endorsed by Trump in Georgia and Arizona were locked in close races that still aren’t decided as of Friday morning.

A GOP strategist who worked for various midterm races during this election cycle said he believed that DeSantis “must run” for president in 2024. He believes the Florida governor has a good story to tell, after four successful years as governor and this very successful re-election bid.

One year ago, it may not have seemed possible that any other Republican candidate had a legitimate chance of overtaking Trump atop the GOP. At that point, it seemed the former president was the overwhelmingly likely nominee, with DeSantis actually mentioned as a possible running mate.

Now, though, after the midterm elections panned out the way they did, DeSantis is no longer a running mate consideration; he’s a likely direct challenger to Trump within the Republican Party.