As we analyze the potential 2024 candidates, it’s important to keep in mind that my cards have always been on the table, whether you agree or disagree with my views. From a conservative perspective, I firmly believe that nominating Donald Trump for president again would be a self-destructive act for the Republican Party. While he achieved significant policy victories during his term, there are valid concerns about his character and fitness for high office that make him a challenging candidate to defeat an unpopular incumbent. Recent polling and election outcomes have demonstrated that certain crucial demographic groups hold negative views on Trump, and ignoring these realities won’t change that dynamic.
Despite Trump’s strong policy record, it’s evident that Democrats would prefer to run against him again, as evidenced by President Biden’s re-election announcement video featuring January 6th footage. Furthermore, Democrats have been successful in meddling with the Republican primary process, ensuring they run against the candidates they believe are most beatable. While there is still time for the political landscape to shift, it’s essential for the GOP to consider a candidate who can consolidate anti-Trump and ‘over-Trump’ factions while appealing to a broad range of voters.
One candidate who has garnered interest from conservatives as a formidable challenger to Trump in the GOP primary is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. While he doesn’t necessarily represent the ideal type of Republican for some conservatives, he has a track record of conservative wins in Florida, with strong governance and significant appeal within the center-right coalition. However, DeSantis has faced challenges in his campaign, with a divided base and a need to consolidate support to build a winning coalition.
The DeSantis campaign appears to be struggling to attract enough support, especially from those who previously backed him. His attempt to move further to the right and pander to online platforms like Twitter hasn’t been as effective as anticipated, potentially alienating some non-Trump Republican voters. While changes are needed to course-correct the campaign, DeSantis still holds potential as a fusionist Trump-alternative candidate if he can bridge the gap between Trump supporters and traditional conservatives.
Ultimately, it’s vital to assess the candidates’ strengths, weaknesses, and electability, while avoiding wish-casting or cheerleading. As we analyze the political landscape and candidate performance, we must keep an open mind, recognizing the challenges faced by potential contenders and their paths to success. DeSantis, in particular, has an opportunity to recalibrate his campaign strategy and appeal to a broader base, which could solidify his position as a compelling alternative to Trump for the Republican Party.