Conservatives will judge Trump against potential successor to DeSantis at CPAC next week in Florida

JACKSANVILLE, FL – Republicans are already vying for support ahead of the 2024 presidential election, and some of the Republican party’s biggest names will meet this week at the Conservatives’ annual meeting, the Conservative Political Action Conference or CPAC.

The event in Orlando will be attended by two major undeclared contenders for 2024, former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Both plan to speak at the convention and appear on the CPAC ballot, which participants use to rank the Conservatives in the next presidential election.

The poll will provide early information on whether Mr. Trump’s influence on Republicans is declining, as some polls suggest, and whether Mr. DeSantis’ popularity is growing.

“If Trump decides to run, it will be very difficult to bring him down,” said in an interview with the Washington Times, a Republican strategist who worked on Trump’s 2020 campaign. “But you’re already starting to see that he’s losing in terms of support among Republicans. In a year, there may be a revelation for someone like DeSantis to succeed. “

Mr. DeSantis, 43, is increasingly seen as Mr. Trump’s successor.

While Mr Trump won the straw CPAC poll last year by a wide margin, Mr DeSantis took second place and won by an overwhelming majority in a separate poll that excluded Trump from the ballot.

Mr DeSantis has silenced his presidential ambitions while he is well ahead of the Democratic Police in his bid for a second term running Solar State.

Meanwhile, the 75-year-old Mr. Trump is unlikely to set aside his presidential ambitions. He has repeatedly expressed the view that he is weighing his candidacy for president in 2024.

On the golf course last month, Mr Trump appeared in a video calling himself the “45th and 47th” president, and indicated he would be keen to launch a second bid to defeat President Biden, who he said words, unfairly received the post in 2020.

Some recent polls suggest a significant number of Republicans and independents would prefer a new Republican candidate to challenge Democrats in 2024.

An Echelon Insights poll in January found that 54 percent of Republicans consider Mr. Trump a great president who “should remain the leader of the Republican Party.” Another 22% agreed that Trump was excellent, “but the Republican Party has come in time to find a new leader.” Among Republicans, 30% said they would have chosen a Republican candidate other than Mr. Trump if the Republican primaries had taken place today.

Among Republicans polled, 32% said Mr DeSantis should run for president if Mr Trump decides not to run for a third White House bid. But another 23% said Mr DeSantis should run regardless of Trump’s candidacy.

“There are people who are not part of the” Never Trump “camp, but do not agree with everything he has done since election day,” said a Republican strategist. “They’re not talking about it, but they don’t want to support Trump again. They want to support someone else. “

In Florida, which has long been a swing state that is now increasingly leaning toward the Republican Party, Mr Trump is ahead of Mr DeSantis by 47% to 40% in a Suffolk University poll this month by Sunshine State voters.

Trump won the state in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.

But in Suffolk’s hypothetical turnout in the 2024 general election, Mr DeSantis was ahead of Mr Trump, especially among critical independent voters.

Mr DeSantis defeated Biden among Florida voters overall with a 52% to 44% advantage, while Mr Trump was ahead of Biden by 47% to 44%.

Among the independents, Mr. Trump was statistically equal to Mr. Biden, leading from 43% to 41%.

Mr. DeSantis led in double digits among independents, beating Biden with 55% vs. 39%.

“You want to win as much as possible among the independents,” said David Palaeolagos, director of the Center for Political Studies at Suffolk University. “And in Florida, Trump barely beat Biden among the independent candidates in Florida, and DeSantis won big.”

Mr Trump, who lives in Palm Beach, described reports of a break-up with Mr DeSantis over a potential clash in 2024 as “completely fake news” and said they remain good friends. However, there have been reports in the media alleging that Mr Trump is angry, Mr DeSantis does not rule out that he may challenge him in the Republican nomination.

It was Mr. Trump’s approval at the Florida Republican Party primaries in 2018 that helped Mr. DeSantis walk past Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and get to the governor’s mansion.

As governor, Mr. DeSantis has become a popular political figure in the state and nationally among Republicans for fighting mandates and blocking COVID-19, as well as for promoting treatments for the virus that were lacking.

Last fall, Mr DeSantis told reporters that he was running for governor, not president.

“All the speculation about me is pure fabrication,” DeSantis told a news conference advertising government monoclonal antibody treatment sites. “I hear it all, and frankly, it’s nonsense.”

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