DeSantis-Trump Face Off

Noah Kienbaum

Former President Donald Trump announced Nov. 15, 2022, at his Mar-a-Lago resort that he will seek re-election in 2024. This announcement was met with little to no surprise as Trump has been alluding to another presidential run since his term came to an end in 2021.
But does the former Commander in Chief stand a chance against other candidates such as Governor Ron Desantis?
Before the midterms, Republicans were boasting about an incoming “red wave” (the term referring to a massive take over of both the senate and house by Republicans.) To many Republicans’ disappointment this red wave did not occur; however, Republicans did win the popular vote. According to the New York Times, “Republicans won the national House popular vote by three percentage points — 51 percent to 48 percent.”
This information may excite many Trump supporters, but as the New Times further states “The ‘MAGA’ Republicans — as characterized by The Cook Political Report, based on their backing from Mr. Trump in the primaries — ran far behind the mainstream Republicans.”
Trump may be becoming something of a toxic political figure with less and less conservatives choosing to associate with him. USA Today reports “31% [of conservatives/Republican leaning voters] want the former president to run, 61% prefer some other Republican nominee who would continue the policies Trump has pursued.”
Furthermore, the LA Times shared a recent report that found, “In this year’s midterm elections, candidates who closely tied themselves to Trump and his lies about the 2020 election, such as gubernatorial hopefuls Kari Lake in Arizona, Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania and Tudor Dixon in Michigan, all lost.”
This raises the question: who would replace the former President?
Enter Florida Governor Ron Desantis. First elected in 2018, Desantis has become that of a star to conservatives In a recent poll by the Wall Street Journal “Trump [is] trailing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis 52%-38%.” Showing that the former President may be in for a rocky ride if he is put up against the current Florida Governor when the primaries occur in 2024.
But in a hypothetical scenario in which Trump does, in fact, win the primaries, what policies would be in place? Who would his pick of vice president be? Would the US voters pick Trump over current President Biden in a rematch?
Trump’s first Presidential run in 2016 saw him tackle issues involving security and immigration, which would also be the birth of his “MAGA” views becoming more mainstream among Republicans.
Candidate Trump was now President Trump starting Jan. 20, 2017. According to NBC News “[within the first 100 days of his presidency] Trump signed a burst of orders to undo many of President Barack Obama’s policies.” With dips in approval rating for the following three years the next election year of 2020 arrived.
Trump officially announced his bid for re-election on June 18, 2019. This time his campaign would focus on the economy. In the following months things seemed to be looking up for Donald Trump, until the Coronavirus hit. According to the Pew Research Center 68 percent of American adults disapproved of him in August of 2020.
With the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6m 2020, Trump’s term came to a horrendous end. An event that led to his second impeachment and reportedly had him considering resignation.
Former PresidentTrump hasn’t been overtly clear about what his 2024 campaign would focus on other than his vision to “make America great and glorious again.” Recently, Trump has alluded that his 2024 campaign will focus on social media censorship, as CNN details in a recent article that “Donald Trump vowed Thursday that if he is elected president again, he would ban federal money from being used to label speech as misinformation or disinformation, fire federal officials who have engaged in what he characterized as ‘domestic censorship,’ and punish universities engaging in ‘censorship activities’ with cuts to federal funding.”
But, what if Ron Desantis wins this hypothetical Republican bid?
Desantis hasn’t officially announced a 2024 bid, but both the support and intent is definitely there.
What we’re likely to see under a Desantis presidency is likely a continuation of what he has done in Florida with bills such as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” and more.
Until an official announcement is made by Desantis and his campaign focus becomes more clear we’ll likely be stuck in the unknown.
Pros of a Desantis presidency could be that it would be a new beginning for the GOP and be somewhat of a renaissance for emerging conservatives such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, along with much praise from conservatives nationwide who seem to rave about Desantis.
As many Democrats have pointed out, a Desantis presidency could cause a rise in discrimination against members of the LGBTQ+ community because of Desantis views on sexuality, which could cause division in an already divided nation.
By contrast, a Trump presidency would see a return to what some Americans saw as a great era with Trump being a powerful figure in the world.
However, Trump was seen as dull and intelligent by moderates and liberals, due to his handling of the coronavirus.
Trump has also been repeatedly called a tyrant by sources such as NBC news for his rather authoritarian presidency, where he would mock those who opposed him and tried clinging to power by asking Ukraine to medal in the 2020 election. Another Trump presidency would most definitely be met with chaos from both parties and would create a restless and rage-filled final term for Trump.
The future of America and both the Republican and Democratic party seems scary and the unknown is frightening.
As for young and new voters voting in the forthcoming election: educate yourself on both candidates and think about who would truly help heal a nation who is coming out of a pandemic and entering a mass shooting epidemic.