Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been awfully quiet about the myriad of actions he’s taken regarding a potential run for president in 2024, but his actions speak loudly.
DeSantis recently traveled to Utah to meet with GOP “mega-donors” – a surefire sign that the Sunshine State lawmaker is considering a run for the White House. Furthermore, it is rather undeniable that he’s been working to raise his national profile through his freedom-forward leadership in Florida.
Now, in yet another indication of his plans to dip his toes into the 2024 race, DeSantis has appeared in a perennial battleground state to rally the Republican base.
Former President Donald Trump’s hold over the Republican party remained at a rally that he did not attend in Phoenix over the weekend as some of the biggest candidates in the 2022 cycle decried the FBI search on Mar-a-Lago.
“I really anticipate that the state of Florida will be the one to get the election wave off the ground,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said during his roughly 46-minute appearance at an event for Arizona Senate nominee Blake Masters and gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake.
DeSantis, who is up for reelection in 2022, came in second in a recent CPAC straw poll for the 2024 presidential election, 45 points behind Trump – although the poll was taken before the FBI search. But when Trump was taken out of the poll, DeSantis was in the lead.
His appearance solidified his popularity among the base.
DeSantis’ visit to Arizona in particular, a perennial presidential battleground former president Donald Trump narrowly lost in 2020, comes after multiple polls show DeSantis as the second pick for most GOP voters for president in 2024, behind Trump.
But attendees in Phoenix gave raucous applause to the southeast governor as he ticked through his COVID-19 response, his criticisms of Mr. Biden, and a string of controversial bills he passed related to education that restricts conversation about gender identity and sexuality from kindergarten through the third grade.
If DeSantis does not challenge Trump for the 2024 nomination, there will be mass confusion over his actions in the last several months.