As the 2024 presidential race begins to take shape, one name that has been consistently in the spotlight is that of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Nevertheless, DeSantis’s poll numbers have begun to slip. With a reputation for bold conservative policies, DeSantis was once seen as a close polling rival to Former President Donald Trump for the GOP nomination. However, DeSantis has seen his support wane among Republican voters. He has also expressed regret over hiring Jeff Roe as the lead strategist for the super PAC Never Back Down. Such infighting within his own camaraderie and declining poll numbers suggest that Ron DeSantis as the Republican nominee for President will be unlikely, and it’s time for Republicans to consider other options.
The 2024 presidential election will be about more than just the Republican nominee. It will be a referendum on the direction of the country, the state of our democracy, and the ability of our leaders to bring Americans together. While Ron DeSantis may have once closely trailed Trump in the polls, his decline is a possible reflection of shifting political dynamics and a growing desire for a different style of leadership within the GOP.
DeSantis’s combative style has increasingly drawn comparisons to the divisive politics of the recent past. For example, on the Ruthless Podcast, DeSantis stated “They would try to impress the corporate media. Don’t work with them. You’ve got to beat them. You’ve got to fight back against them.” While some voters may appreciate his confrontational approach with the media and political opponents, more moderate and independent voters, who are seeking a more inclusive and cooperative brand of Republican leadership, may be alienated. In an era where unity and civility are sorely needed, DeSantis’s approach may not resonate with a broader electorate.
Vivik Ramaswamy, for example, is seen as a rising figure in the race and a possible alternative to DeSantis. Since Ramaswamy is not a career politician, he does not carry the same level of political experience that Governor DeSantis gladly embraces. He uses this flexibility to push rhetoric that resonates with Republican voters. Desantis’s preoccupation with culture wars and policy has pushed the focus more on his current job as Governor and less on beating Trump for the Republican nomination. This disunification may be a cause for DeSantis’s drop by 27 points in polls, as of September 9. It is up to Governor DeSantis to decide whether he wants to sit back and awkwardly smile everytime he looks at the press or more boldly, fundamentally change the way his presidential campaign continues.
Governor DeSantis has created a campaign for what works in Florida but has failed to realize that, as President of the United States, he has to bring about a more accepting plan for all Americans and consider that every state is different. To translate this to reality, Governor Ron DeSantis needs to bring about a more unifying message across all voters. DeSantis’s campaign needs to focus on the acceptance of individuals and the slow progression of social norms but with caution of the possibility of pushback and provocation.