The blowback from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ botched presidential announcement appears to be worse than what was originally anticipated. While the candidate received a significant boost for his war chest, the SNAFU that occurred when he declared his intent to run has lost him critical support among those who previously endorsed him. Nevertheless, despite the setback, it’s still too early to count him out.
Several New Hampshire state legislators have shifted their support in the 2024 presidential race from Gov. DeSantis to former President Donald Trump. The decision to switch endorsements was prompted by technical difficulties experienced during DeSantis’ campaign launch on Twitter Spaces.
State Rep. Sandra Panek (R) released a statement on Thursday noting that she is now endorsing the former president due to the governor’s inability to “properly run” his announcement.
“After being less than impressed with Ron DeSantis’s official announcement last night, I am hereby switching my endorsement to President Donald J. Trump,” she said. “We can’t expect someone to run the country if they can’t properly run their own campaign launch.”
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“The stakes are simply too great in 2024 to take a chance on someone as unreliable as DeSantis — we need a proven winner like President Trump to take back the White House and Make America Great Again,” the lawmaker continued.
State Rep. Juliet Harvey-Bolia (R) indicated similar sentiments. “Ron DeSantis will make a great candidate in 2028. I expect Republicans will unite behind President Trump,” she said.
There have been no polls released since DeSantis’ announcement, but a Quinnipiac poll released on May 24 showed Trump extending his lead over the governor and remaining in a solid position as the frontrunner.
From the report:
As the field of Republican presidential contenders in the 2024 primary race develops, former President Donald Trump remains at the top of the list of declared or potential candidates with 56 percent support among Republican and Republican leaning voters, followed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis with 25 percent, according to a Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pea-ack) University national poll released today. Former United Nations Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley receives 3 percent. Former Vice President Mike Pence, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie each receive 2 percent. The remaining 8 listed declared or potential candidates each receive less than 2 percent support.
“This compares to a Quinnipiac University poll on March 29th when Trump received 47 percent and DeSantis received 33 percent,” the report added.
While former President Donald Trump maintains a significant lead over DeSantis in popularity, there are several factors that will shape the race moving forward.
Undoubtedly, Donald Trump still holds a formidable advantage over DeSantis in the race for the Republican nomination. Although the governor may receive a modest bump in support, the governor’s chances of a substantial surge have been hampered by the technical glitches and other issues during his campaign launch and his performance in subsequent media appearances. A smoother launch would have likely garnered more attention and potentially boosted DeSantis’ early support.
Despite the initial setbacks, DeSantis managed to raise an impressive $8.2 million on the day of his campaign announcement, which is nothing to sneeze at. This financial achievement cannot be overlooked, as it demonstrates the governor’s ability to rally financial support from his conservative base. In addition, the funds raised provide DeSantis with an opportunity to regain the confidence of Republican voters and solidify his campaign infrastructure, which will be crucial in the primaries.
The 2024 presidential primaries are still in the early stages, leaving ample time for DeSantis to make up ground and close the gap with Trump. While the former president enjoys widespread support within the Republican Party, it is essential to recognize the unpredictable nature of politics. As the campaign progresses, there is no guarantee that Trump will avoid making some of his signature gaffes or facing controversies that could potentially weaken his standing. In such a scenario, DeSantis could seize the opportunity to position himself as a viable alternative and gain momentum among Republican voters.
To put it simply, there is absolutely no denying that DeSantis’ glitchy announcement was a setback, but it is certainly not a fatal one. There is plenty of time left in the primaries and if the governor can address some of his weaknesses, he might stand a better chance of unseating the former president.