Billionaire Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, has once again reiterated his support for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis going into the 2024 presidential election, not that this means winning the nomination would be a cakewalk for the governor.
Recall that in June, Musk admitted after being pressed on Twitter that he was leaning toward DeSantis as his 2024 pick:
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 15, 2022
Musk doubled down on Friday when asked, “Would you support Ron DeSantis in 2024, Elon?”
“Yes,” the billionaire replied in a tweet.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 26, 2022
He added in additional tweets that he’d “reluctantly” voted for incumbent President Joe Biden in the 2020 race.
But, he continued, despite voting against former President Donald Trump, he still stands by his decision to unsuspend Trump’s account because that was the right thing to do.
I’m fine with Trump not tweeting. The important thing is that Twitter correct a grave mistake in banning his account, despite no violation of the law or terms of service.
Deplatforming a sitting President undermined public trust in Twitter for half of America.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 25, 2022
As a reminder, I was a significant supporter of the Obama-Biden presidency and (reluctantly) voted for Biden over Trump
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 26, 2022
Returning to DeSantis, while Musk’s support would be monumental to a potential presidential run, the governor would need a bit more going for him.
Part of the problem, according to a report from The Hill, is that he’s never run a campaign outside of Florida before.
“DeSantis has never run nationally before. He’s going to do some dumb things at some point,” veteran GOP strategist Keith Naughton said to The Hill.
Indeed, “it’s easy to forget that DeSantis is still a relative newcomer on the national scene. And while he’s hit the campaign trail for Republican candidates in states such as Arizona, Nevada and Ohio, he’s never had to stump for himself outside Florida,” The Hill notes.
For example, he’s never had to make his case to the voters in Iowa, who are a different voting bloc than the voters in Florida.
That said, Naughton seems confident the governor can overcome this lack of experience.
“From the polling we’ve seen in Florida, where people know him and recognize him, it tells me that when DeSantis actually starts introducing himself to voters elsewhere, he’s got a lot of room to grow,” he said.
Plus, he’s already polling extraordinarily well in Iowa. A recent Neighborhood Research and Media poll published Monday found that of 393 Iowa respondents, 32 percent listed DeSantis as their top pick, while only 30 percent chose Trump.
DESANTIS LEADS TRUMP 32-30 IN IOWA, FLIPPING 38-17 JUNE DEFICIT
Attached is a memo analyzing results from 393 completed…
Another issue for DeSantis to overcome is Trump, who’s already thrown his name into the ring and is expected to be no easy competitor to defeat.
“[DeSantis] has everything to lose and nothing to gain. Why piss off the Trump base right now?” political science professor Martin Sweet of Purdue University said.
The governor has two choices: Take advantage of his current momentum and make a run for the presidency now, even if it means going up against Trump and his base, or wait until 2028 to run as the successor of either Trump or Biden, depending on who wins in 2024.
DeSantis allegedly also needs more “retail politicking.”
“[E]ven Republican allies say the governor needs to work on his retail politicking — from campaign rallies to more personal interactions with voters — if he wants to make the leap from gubernatorial candidate to presidential candidate,” according to The Hill.
“To date, DeSantis has largely appeared on the stump in one mode. ‘He’s ‘angry guy at the podium‘ all the time,’ one Republican supporter said. ‘It’s always ‘own the libs.’ That may work in a primary, supporters said, but when it comes to a general election, DeSantis might be forced to try a different, more fine-tuned approach,” The Hill notes.
Maybe, maybe not. The “own the libs” strategy, as the ostensible Republican called it, has worked because the so-called “libs” have overreached on virtually every issue, particularly those relating to children.
In fact, some say DeSantis performed so well in this year’s gubernatorial race precisely because of his decision to take such a fierce stance on issues such as child indoctrination.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 29, 2022
In many ways, the governor is similar to Musk, who too is a culture warrior — an equally successful one, to boot.
Many had likewise cast doubt over whether the billionaire would be successful with his takeover of Twitter, yet the social media network continues to function brilliantly.
Likewise, perhaps DeSantis should stick to his guns no matter which path he takes in 2024 and trust that his unique style and charisma will carry him through to the end.
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