Thu. Sep 21st, 2023

How Ron DeSantis makes 2024 GOP presidential field ‘smaller than expected’: report

Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and former governor of South Carolina, is expected to formally declare in mid-February her intention to seek the 2024 GOP presidential nomination – making her the first Republican to officially take on former President Donald Trump in this primary. Meanwhile, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis appears to be gearing up for a presidential run, though he has yet to make an official announcement.

Other Republicans mentioned as possible GOP presidential candidates for 2024 include President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, among others. But according to Jonathan Martin of Politico, Republican strategists expect a relatively small field of primary hopefuls. And that, Martin points out, is exactly what DeSantis and his supporters are hoping for.

GOP strategist Ward Baker told Politico that he expects to see about seven or eight serious contenders. Many other Republicans, according to Martin, “plan to sit out the White House race or remain undecided about whether to run”.

Martin, in a Feb. 2 Politico article, reports, “For all the pre-emptive Republican panic over a 2016 rerun, and Trump claiming the nomination again thanks to a fractured opposition, the 2024 GOP field is shaping up to be smaller than expected. … A number of potential Republican candidates see the party still in the grip of the former president this time, take a look at his pre-emptive attacks on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and say: who needs it, I’ll check in 2028 when, one way or another, Trump is out of order.

Ann Coulter, author and fiery pundit, Rupert Murdoch of Fox News and some National Review writers are among the Republicans who have rallied behind DeSantis, while Rick Wilson of the Lincoln Project (a former GOP strategist and Never Trump conservative) predicts that Trump will be the nominee and that Republicans will eventually “bend the knee” to him. Wilson is extremely skeptical when told that the GOP is ready to “move on” from Trump.

Republican strategist Scott Jennings believes that Republicans who stay out of the 2024 presidential primary aren’t doing so because of Trump – they’re doing so because of DeSantis and the considerable momentum he has in the GOP and MAGA movement. DeSantis was re-elected by 19% in the 2022 Florida governor’s race.

Jennings told Politico, “They don’t have a problem with Trump, they have a problem with DeSantis. It’s going to be hard to fight for the other 60-70% of the vote (not for Trump) when some other guy might get 90%.

Martin reports, however, that if DeSantis and Trump have a “bloody battle” and tear each other apart in the 2024 GOP primary, it could benefit Haley.

“Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who is set to announce later this month, is hoping that voters will turn to a younger female alternative when things get tough between Trump and DeSantis,” says Martin. “And older figures like former Vice President Mike Pence and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson have told people they’re counting on a high-profile food fight to create an appetite for a so-called adult in the race. “