Former President Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign more than six months ago, and other candidates are polling way behind.
But now a more formidable candidate — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — is planning to enter the race next week, two people familiar with the matter told national media Thursday.
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In that case, DeSantis would be announcing his campaign in the immediate run-up to a May 25 meeting with big donors. Presidential candidates need to file with the Federal Election Commission before raising money for presidential campaigns.
DeSantis has long served as a magnet for donors, presumably due to his scandal-free record. He’s already sitting on a larger chest than Trump, despite his reluctance to announce a run for president.
The Florida governor previously hinted at a decision coming sometime after May 5, the end of Florida’s legislative session.
Amid all this waiting, DeSantis is currently polling more than 30 points behind Trump, according to the national polling average from RealClearPolitics. He has a long stretch of ground to make up.
Still, DeSantis has demonstrated an ability to attract media coverage. Some pundits expect DeSantis to release a campaign video as soon as May 25. After all, he’s seen his campaign videos go viral in the past.
The Wall Street Journal was the first outlet to report the governor’s intent. Like some of Rupert Murdoch’s other outlets, the Journal appears to have some DeSantis supporters on its editorial board. Since last year’s midterms, the Murdoch-owned outlets have become known for their frequent coverage of DeSantis. The New York Post put him on the front cover and called him “DeFUTURE.”
DeSantis, once an obscure congressman, began boosting his national profile by appearing on Fox News. In 2018, he ran for governor against some better-known challengers, and he netted an endorsement from Trump himself.
However, Trump has criticized DeSantis since leaving the White House. For example, he’s pointed to the former congressman’s vote to raise the age of eligibility for Social Security. In turn, DeSantis has criticized Trump for supporting a similar position before entering politics.
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The Horn editorial team