Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis refused to say whether he plans to run for president in 2024, a bid that would land right in the middle of his second term as governor.
Democratic Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist pressed DeSantis on the issue during an election debate Monday night. DeSantis is among the most popular Republicans in the country and has scored high in mock-up polls of a potential Republican primary,
“Why don’t you look in the eyes of the people of Florida and say to them, if you’re reelected, you will serve a full four-year term as governor. Yes or no? “Yes or no, Ron?” Crist asked during the debate.
“I know that Charlie is itching to talk about 2024 and Joe Biden. But I just want to make things very, very clear: The only worn-out old donkey I’m looking to put out to pasture is Charlie Crist,” DeSantis responded.
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DeSantis is widely seen as a potential challenger to former President Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential ticket.
Trump routinely out-performs DeSantis in polls of Republican voters ahead of 2024, but the governor remains Trump’s most prominent potential rival.
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A presidential straw poll at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit found that 78.7% of attendees favored Trump to be the Republican nominee in 2024. Another straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference in August found that Trump had 69% support from attendees to run in 2024. DeSantis came in with just 24% support.
Nevertheless, DeSantis has carried the victory in some 2024 primary polls. A survey of Republicans in New Hampshire saw the governor take a thin lead over Trump in a potential Republican primary in June. The poll showed 39% of likely Republican primary voters in the Granite State would support the first-term Florida governor, with 37% backing the former president.
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Neither Trump nor DeSantis has declared intentions to run for president in 2024.