Ron DeSantis has formally announced his entry into the 2024 presidential race in a unique and dangerous way: on Twitter Space with Twitter owner Elon Musk. DeSantis, a fortified Silicon Valley home to David Sacks and Elon Musk, represents a sharp change in the world of technology and media.
Last night’s events must be considered in the context of the future of Twitter and what this means for Elon Musk. He said the space was not DeSanti’s signature, but the signature to belong to Twitter again. Musk has spoken on behalf of DeSantis in the past, but this move is more about what Musk intends Twitter to be in the future, and less about Ron DeSantis. Musk intends to merge Twitter into a long-term media platform, with live and original programming, starting with Tucker Carlson.
But, regardless of the announcement and the outcome of the war, the President of Florida begins his campaign to win the Republican nomination with the voting numbers slipping and President Donald Trump the former clear favorite in the primary party.
President Trump was previously ahead of DeSantis by about 10 points nationally last year. Trump’s data was in the low 40s while DeSantis was in the low 30s. Today, Trump is more than 50 percent nationally among Republican voters. DeSantis dropped out in the bottom of the 20s. No one else in the Republican Party is even up to the mark.
The history of American politics shows that such interests can be turned on the inside of the nation once the candidates make their official ambitions and begin their first campaigns. In 2007, then-Illinois Senator Barack Obama was leading by nearly 20 points nationally in the 2008 Democratic primary season, while then-New York-Senator Hillary Clinton dominated the national popular vote for the Democratic nomination with nearly 40 percent of the vote. However, Obama ended up winning over Clinton.
In the same election, Arizona Senator John McCain was stuck at the bottom of the national Republican primary in the early 20s. After slipping again in the second half of the year, McCain also made a comeback that landed him on the Republican ticket. A key factor for DeSanti to have a good chance in the face of favorable Trump is to add the largest number of support from the leaders in the party. Otherwise, the complex task becomes more difficult.
Beyond the numbers and pushback, DeSantis presents a renewal of Trumpism without the burden of scandals and mistakes that the former Republican president adds. In his petition, he will appeal to primary voters by promoting conservative social policies, but there is also something else to tell: the dispensation of his administration of Florida for four and a half years, during which he did well economically.
Florida is the fastest growing state in the nation, and since DeSantis took office in 2019, it has led the rest of the country in job and income growth, especially during the covid pandemic. Economists say DeSantis’ decision to reopen Florida’s economy early is prejudicial. But Florida took over the role long before that. The state has seen steady increases in employment over three decades with leaders from both parties.
Ron DeSantis has fully embraced the state of the culture wars that keep America divided. He has made a national name among Republican voters by taking on big business like Disney and limiting the way sexuality, identity and gender are discussed and taught in Florida classrooms.
On Mexico and immigration and security issues, DeSantis has taken positions similar to those that Donald Trump introduced in 2015, without the novelty and hate speech. On numerous occasions, he has spoken in favor of building a wall between Mexico and the United States and sending the National Guard to prevent migrants from crossing, as well as the immediate deportation of undocumented people who reach the country. In recent times, he has also expressed concern about drug trafficking and fentanyl coming into the United States.
A sunny port with no state taxes, Florida has built many businesses and workers. DeSantis is pushing for a kind of heavy-handed capitalism in which the state develops a culture that expects businesses to follow the conditions Florida enjoys. As a Republican pitch to win the presidential nomination, it could work. But it remains to be seen if general election voters will want to be a part of DeSantis’ America as they have in Florida.