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Tags: rondesantis | maga | whitehouse | florida | governor

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Poised to Carry Trump's MAGA Torch

ron desantis walks through waving flags
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis arrives for an event with President Donald Trump at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse on Sept. 08, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 21 March 2021 09:12 AM EDT

Former President Donald Trump remains the face of the Republican Party and the leading 2024 GOP presidential contender, but Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has made inroads to become a top alternative amid his coronavirus pandemic response and his Trump-like toughness.

"I think he's the odds-on favorite to be the next president," according to Florida GOP chairman Joe Gruters, a Florida state senator, told NBC News.

DeSantis' rise was quick after Trump endorsed him for governor of Florida, and he holds a 53% job-approval rating in the latest Mason-Dixon poll, including 59% among independents.

The straw polls taken at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month, has DeSantis, 42, as the second option to Trump, but the first when Trump was excluded from the survey's field.

"When you look under the hood of those numbers, DeSantis garners a lot of support from Trump voters in the absence of Trump," Trump campaign pollster Tony Fabrizio told NBC News. "As the media beat him up as the anti-Cuomo and DeSantis stood up for himself, voters liked that. They associate that type of scrappiness and speaking your mind with President Trump. He is inheriting a lot of that."

DeSantis has remained focused on the near term, the 2022 Florida gubernatorial reelection campaign, but most look ahead to 2024 include his name near the top of GOP minds.

"Ron DeSantis has quickly become the most recognizable Republican governor in the country, and I think that only bodes well for both his re-election and what he wants to do after that," DeSantis' 2018 campaign manager Brad Herold told NBC News.

That sure does help the fundraising efforts, according to Nick Iarossi.

"I've been doing this for 20 years, and you normally don't have prominent donors from other states reaching out and saying, 'Hey, how do I meet this guy? How do I support him? I think he's going to be president one day, and I want to get to know him now. I want to support him for his 2022 election to make sure he wins if we need him running in 2024,'" Iarossi, a DeSantis fundraiser, told NBC News.

Even former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a bitter Trump rival, says he is "a fan" of the Trump-backing Gov. DeSantis, an Ivy Leaguer and an Iraq War veteran.

"I am out of the punditry business, but I am a fan of Ron DeSantis," Bush told NBC News.

Who is not fond of Gov. DeSantis? Democrats and the media.

Ron Be Gone has launched to oppose the surging MAGA Republican, who has the job-approval thumbs up from just 15% of Democrats in the Mason-Dixon polling.

"His arrogance and complete detachment from the pain and suffering of our communities is very telling of someone that is in this position to advance his political ambitions, and it's obvious because they're already discussing 2024," former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., a Ron Be Gone group leader, told NBC News.

But moderates and Republicans have enjoyed freedom, security, health, and safety amid the pandemic under DeSantis' leadership.

"With all due respect to those who have gotten sick or who have passed or who know someone who passed, I think we were able to ride the storm without destroying people's businesses and people's economic lives," Republican strategist Nelson Diaz told NBC News.

The leading challengers to DeSantis in 2022, including Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., and state agriculture and consumer services commissioner Nikki Fried, per the report.

"I think this may be one of the easiest gubernatorial re-elects that we've seen in Florida in a long time," former Florida GOP chairman Blaise Ingoglia told NBC news.

"What people like in general is standing up for what you believe in. Be a fighter, right? And this is why Ron DeSantis has endeared himself to the Donald Trump base — a base I predict is not going to go away."

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
Former President Donald Trump remains the face of the Republican Party and the leading 2024 GOP presidential contender, but Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has made inroads to become a top alternative amid his coronavirus pandemic response.
rondesantis, maga, whitehouse, florida, governor
643
2021-12-21
Sunday, 21 March 2021 09:12 AM
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