If gloves are already off, what will primary look like when DeSantis makes it official?

If gloves are already off, what will primary look like when DeSantis makes it official?

If gloves are already off, what will primary look like when DeSantis makes it official?

Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to announce next week he is running for the White House, a decision that would end months of speculation but kick off a new debate among divided Republican voters over should be the Republican nominee for president.

DeSantis is expected to file official paperwork with the Federal Election Commission next week to declare his candidacy according to a Fox News story. It credits The Wall Street Journal for first reporting on the Florida governor’s long-expected news.

DeSantis, 44, was easily re-elected to a second term as governor last November in a stomping of Charlie Crist, a former governor who has switched to the Democratic Party. DeSantis defeated Crist 59%-40%.

Trump mocked, threatened DeSantis

Speculation that DeSantis will run for president in 2024 has been brewing ever since Donald Trump’s re-election defeat in 2020, so nobody paying attention is surprised to hear the Florida governor is making it official next week. But an official presidential campaign means the political rivalry between Trump and DeSantis will only grow deeper, and dirtier, in coming weeks and months.

Ever since he announced his own candidacy late last year, Trump has recognized DeSantis is his biggest potential rival for the GOP nomination. So the former president has been mocking DeSantis, calling him “Ron DeSanctimonious” from the stage. On Election Day last year, Trump urged DeSantis to stay out of the presidential race because Trump knows “things about [DeSantis] that won’t be very flattering” if he runs.

Beyond childish name-calling, Trump has also been criticizing the Governor’s record, such as a six-week abortion ban the DeSantis signed into law in recent days. Many people in the pro-life movement “feel that that was too harsh,” Trump, talking about the ban, told news website The Messenger earlier this week.

Responding to Trump’s comment at the bill signing ceremony, DeSantis said “protecting an unborn child when there’s a detectable heartbeat is something that almost probably 99 percent of pro-lifers support,” according to a story by Politico.

Last week, speaking in the battleground state of Iowa, Gov. DeSantis took some jabs at Trump.

“Governing is not about entertaining. Governing is not about building a brand or talking on social media and virtue signaling,” DeSantis told a gathering of GOP voters. “It’s ultimately about winning and producing results.”

Prediction: polls will shift

Among their varied reasons for backing Donald Trump, his supporters can point to political polling that shows their favored candidate enjoying a jaw-dropping lead among potential candidates, including DeSantis. A compilation of eight polls at Real Clear Politics shows Trump leading second-place DeSantis 56%-19%, a gap of 36 percentage points.

When Gov. DeSantis officially announces his White House run, “you’re going to see some shift in those polling numbers,” Jenna Ellis, an American Family Radio host, told the AFR audience this week.

“I think it will get closer,” she predicted. “And I also think that some people who are currently supporting Trump are not saying that they're willing to support DeSantis, but they will come over just because DeSantis has not yet declared. And they don't want to get out early just in case, for whatever reason, he chose not to enter the race.”

It is obvious Trump is the "clear favorite," she added, referring to the poll numbers, but it's also "very early" in the primary. 

Ellis, who served as Trump’s personal attorney, is expected to interview DeSantis on her “Jenna Ellis in the Morning” show Monday morning, May 22. The show airs at 7 a.m. CST.

Ellis, who started her morning AFR program in January, interviewed her former boss in February. In that interview, Trump took credit for helping DeSantis win his first term as governor. 

“Somebody gets you in [and] you sort of be loyal to that person,” Trump, speaking about DeSantis, said in the interview.