Does Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stand a chance against Donald Trump?

·1-min read
© Charlie Neibergall, AP

It was one of Washington’s worst-kept secrets and on Wednesday it finally became official: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has joined the field of Republican presidential candidates challenging Donald Trump for the 2024 nomination. But will DeSantis, who has cast himself as a more electable version of Trump, be able to convince the GOP?

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has all the elite credentials of a prototypical US presidential candidate, from graduating with honours from Yale and Harvard Law School to earning a bronze star for meritorious service in the military. And Trump who announced his presidential bid back in November is certainly sensing danger.

For months now, the former president has tried to pre-empt a potential DeSantis presidential bid by trying to undermine him with verbal assaults. Amid reports the Florida governor was only hours away from announcing his candidacy, Trump launched a new round of attacks on Wednesday, calling DeSantis "disloyal".

“He was, and is, a disciple of horrible RINO (Republican in name only) Paul Ryan, and others too many to mention,” Trump wrote.

“Also, he desperately needs a personality transplant and, to the best of my knowledge, they are not medically available yet. A disloyal person!”

To win the Republican race, however, DeSantis will have to walk a fine line, given that Trump still wields some influence as a kingmaker.

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