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Thursday, June 8, 2023

DeSantis Says Only he can Beat Biden in 2024 Presidential Election

DeSantis Says Only he can Beat Biden in 2024 Presidential Election – According to the New York Times, during a recent call organized by a fundraising committee, Ron DeSantis, the rightwing governor of Florida, allegedly claimed that there are only three “credible” contenders for the 2024 presidential election: himself, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden – and he is the only Republican who can beat the incumbent Democrat. The report also mentioned that a journalist was present on the call, listening to DeSantis’s remarks.

“Biden, Trump and me. And I think of those three, two have a chance to get elected president – Biden and me, based on all the data in the swing states, which is not great for the former president and probably insurmountable because people aren’t going to change their view of him,” DeSantis said. DeSantis has been widely anticipated to announce his candidacy for a while now, and recent reports suggest that he will indeed make it official on Wednesday. 

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This will involve filing necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission and releasing a video announcement. Furthermore, there are indications that a gathering of donors is planned in Miami on the same day, followed by a rally in DeSantis’s hometown of Dunedin sometime between May 30th and June 1st. These details have been reported by Bloomberg and the Miami Herald. Trump is confronted with an unparalleled level of legal vulnerability stemming from a range of cases, both criminal and civil in nature. 

These cases involve his alleged misconduct towards women, investigations into his business dealings, his handling of classified information, and his endeavors to overturn the 2020 election. The apex of these legal challenges came to fruition with the January 6 assault on Congress. According to sources cited by news outlets, a determination regarding indictments in the investigation into election subversion in Georgia is anticipated to be announced in August.

Despite this, Trump has managed to gain significant advantages in polling by portraying himself as a target of politically motivated prosecutions. In polling averages, DeSantis trails behind by over 30 points. However, he maintains a considerable lead over other potential candidates, whether they have officially declared their candidacy or not. Notable figures among them include former Vice President Mike Pence and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. 

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Additionally, it is expected that South Carolina Senator Tim Scott will announce his campaign on Monday. When DeSantis and Biden are pitted against each other in polls, the results show narrow victories for either candidate. Furthermore, DeSantis’s bold statements on Thursday also underscored his impressive fundraising abilities. Various groups, including the Super PAC Never Back Down, which organized the call, and Empower Parents (formerly known as Friends of Ron DeSantis), have amassed substantial financial resources.

The renaming of the latter group reflects DeSantis’s strategy to appeal to voters as a champion of culture-war issues, particularly those involving progressive values. This includes advocating for restrictions on the teaching of LGBTQ+ topics and implementing one of the strictest six-week abortion bans in any state. However, an important matter that DeSantis did not mention during his call, as highlighted by the Times, could cast a shadow over his campaign. 

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Disney, one of the largest employers in Florida, recently withdrew from a $1 billion office development project in Orlando. DeSantis is engaged in a battle with the entertainment giant over his controversial “don’t say gay” public education law, which has resulted in a loss of donor support for him. Many progressives, Democrats, and observers believe that DeSantis may have veered too far to the right to secure victory in a general election. 

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On the Thursday call, the Times said, DeSantis said many Republicans thought “We’ve got to win this time”, a veiled jab at Trump’s defeat in 2020 and bad results in midterm elections either side of that contest. He also claimed: “The corporate media wants Trump to be the nominee.” Quoting a voter he said he spoke to in Iowa, he said: “You know, Trump was somebody, we liked his policies but we didn’t like his values. And with you, we like your policies but also know that you share our values.”

Of his hardline legislative record, DeSantis said: “When we say we’re going to do something, we get it done.” The governor also boasted about sales of his book, The Courage to be Free, which he said outpaced similar volumes by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The Times said that claim was “roughly in line with the true totals”. DeSantis said: “I think the voters want to move on from Biden. They just want a vehicle they can get behind but there’s just too many voters that don’t view Trump as that vehicle.”

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