by Frank Holmes, reporter
With President Joe Biden in office just over a month, Republicans are already thinking about the 2024 election.
Polls show former president Donald Trump as the frontrunner. But he’s not guaranteed to win the nomination. At his age, unfortunately, nothing is guaranteed.
One of Trump’s strongest challengers is someone you may not know much about: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
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A shocking new poll shows DeSantis is more popular than President Trump among voters who know him best, in Florida.
DeSantis has a 65 percent approval rating with Florida voters and only a 21 percent disapproval rating, according to a survey conducted by the University of North Florida.
Only 47 percent of Florida voters see President Trump positively, while 51 percent disapprove.
There’s even more good news for DeSantis: If fellow Florida Republicans Marco Rubio and Rick Scott run for president in 2024, DeSantis wouldn’t just beat them—he’d crush them.
DeSantis has a whopping 52-point lead over Marco Rubio among Florida voters, according to the polling firm Fabrizio, Lee & Associates. 64 percent of Florida voters would back the popular governor for president, versus 12 percent for Rubio, who ran for president in 2016, and 10 percent for Scott, who heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
“In order to run for president, you need to have your home state, you need your home base,” Fabrizio said when it released the results. “DeSantis clearly has that.”
Who is Ron DeSantis?
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The 42-year-old spent three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he helped found the conservative House Freedom Caucus with Jim Jordan. He focused his time there on repealing Obamacare—unlike congressional Republicans, who campaigned against the unpopular law but couldn’t deliver once they came into office.
When he ran for governor in 2018, he beat the scandal-riddled socialist Andrew Gillum in a squeaker—less than half of one percent of the vote.
Since then, he’s been riding high at home—at receiving the hatred of the media.
DeSantis had a less restrictive policy than governors show down their entire state for months—or, now a year—at a time…and the results show he made the right call.
Florida’s COVID-19 death rate is lower than the national average—123.3 of every 100,000 Florida residents are marked as dying with the infection, compared with 132 of every 100,000 Americans total.
He opened the schools for in-person teaching in August—100 percent of Florida students are being educated in a classroom face-to-face…yet the number of students infected is far lower than states like California and Illinois, where less than one out of every 10 students is in class.
And DeSantis has done a good job protecting his state’s large population of retirees and older Americans: Florida’s coronavirus death rate for senior citizens is lower than than the national average of 666 out of every 100,000 elderly Americans.
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As a matter of fact, the media criticize him for doing too good a job. NBC News ran a hit piece on Gov. DeSantis saying, “Florida governor accused of playing politics with Covid vaccine.”
The problem, according to NBC’s Corky Siemaszko, is that DeSantis gave the vaccine to the elderly first—including “Holocaust survivors and Cuban survivors of the Bay of Pigs debacle.”
NBC even balled DeSantis out for giving the vaccine to a 94-year-old Korean War veteran.
Liberal states have doled out the vaccine based on race, instead of age—even though older people are the most susceptible to COVID-19 deaths.
DeSantis says it’s a “typical, partisan narrative” designed to rip him down while the media celebrate people like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose death rate is far higher than DeSantis—or even than his official numbers.
The media’s real problem is that he’s called them out in one unflinching press conference after another. See the governor take it to the Fake News media is “like a shot of adrenaline to the conservative grassroots,” Josh Holmes, a senior adviser to Mitch McConnell, told Politico.
They also don’t like DeSantis for taking on Big Tech, which helped them shut up competitors like the New York Post for exposing Hunter Biden just before the 2020 election.
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The powers that be also haven’t forgiven DeSantis for winning in 2018, after they spent so much time—and money—trying to turn the state blue.
Kingmaker George Soros has poured campaign contributions into the swing state—and it’s backfired, badly.
DeSantis not only won, but he’s one of the most popular governors in the United States, according to Pulse Opinion Research.
If he tries to run for president, DeSantis will have his hands full—and not just from a hostile media. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Senators Tom Cotton and Josh Hawley, and a few other wild cards want a shot at the top job, as well—possibly even Mike Pence.
But keep your eyes on DeSantis. He may just be the next Republican president.
Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”