Even though he lost the presidential election in 2020, the former US president Donald Trump remained the most popular potential Republican presidential candidate, multiple polls in the last few months show.
Trump has never actually confirmed he plans to run for president again, but he remains very active in public maintaining his popularity and support among the Republican voters. Even more interesting factor is that Trump managed to increase his rating, while Joe Biden’s approval rating constantly goes down since the last summer.
Taking into consideration Trump’s popularity and support from the voters, majority of the GOP members are considering to support Donald Trump if he decides to run for president again, pushing all the others potential GOP presidential candidates apart.
According to Washington Post, there are several GOP members who might consider running for president if Trump decides not to run including Mike Pompeo, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., Ted Cruz, Mike Pence and Ron DeSantis.
Although it’s hard to believe that any of the above will decide to oppose Trump since almost all of them have been Trump’s close associates, it remains unclear what might happen with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis who increased his rating among the GOP supporters and voters with opposing Biden administration’s pandemic measures, handling the pandemic in general and reopening the state of Florida sooner compared to some other states.
Donald Trump is aware of Ron DeSantis’ growing popularity and rating and in multiple occasions said he might consider DeSantis as 2024 running mate. In an interview with Fox News two months ago, Trump said that “DeSantis is a good man, but we have a lot of great people. He’s been good,” when asked a potential running mate.
But Trump is reportedly growing annoyed with DeSantis lately mostly because he remains the only serious and popular potential GOP presidential candidate who hasn’t publicly said he won’t seek the nomination if Trump runs for a third time. And it looks like Trump is slowly getting nervous.
“He says DeSantis has no personal charisma and has a dull personality,” one unnamed source told Axios. “I wonder why the guy won’t say he won’t run against me,” Trump has reportedly said to associates, according to the New York Times.
That lack of deference seems to have led to Trump’s attack on “gutless” politicians last week that many believe was a thinly veiled attack on DeSantis. “They don’t want to say it because they’re gutless,” Trump said. “You got to say it — whether you had it or not, say it.”
Furthermore, Trump expects support from DeSantis at this point since he is confident that his early endorsement helped DeSantis win the governorship in 2018, and that DeSantis “didn’t have a chance” in the race without the help of the then-president. Reportedly, multiple Trump allies has warned DeSantis not to test and go against Donald Trump.
Until now, DeSantis hasn’t confirmed if he is considering running for president in 2024 despite growing popularity.