According to Mark Leibovich of The Atlantic, the reelection of Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is not a sure thing.
DeSantis has emerged as a high-profile Republican, which has led to talk of a presidential bid, in 2024. His name has also been batted around as a potential running mate for former President Donald Trump, despite their very public up and down relationship.
While DeSantis has not formally announced a White House campaign, he is up for reelection in the Sunshine State this November, when Republicans are currently poised to make major gains nationwide.
In an interview, Mark Leibovich told Insider that DeSantis’ reelection is “not a sure thing” at the moment, despite the seemingly Republican tilt of the state in recent contests. (While former Democratic President Barack Obama won the state in 2008 and 2012, former Republican President Donald Trump carried it in 2016 and 2020, and Republicans have won every gubernatorial election in the state since 1998.)
And he explained why the state has become so influential among national Republicans — notwithstanding Trump moving his political base to his Mar-a-Lago club in South Florida after he left the White House last year.
“It’s just a very, very natural base for him and his voters,” Leibovich told Insider of Trump’s standing in the state.
He continued: “There are a lot of transplants from New York and New Jersey. They’re around his age. They have a lot of his politics. They moved to The Villages or Boca or Palm Beach.”
Leibovich proceeded to point to the national figures who have made the state a center of Republican political power.
“You have people like [Rick] Scott and [Marco] Rubio and DeSantis who have become national figures,” he said. “So, you know, in addition to the Trump sort of center of gravity, there are some other pretty prominent figures.”
Leibovich added that “There’s just a lot going on between Texas and Florida. I think we see those as the two poles of the Republican Party now.”
He also remarked on the chances of DeSantis’ reelection race for Florida coming up this fall, where he would potentially face either former Governor and current Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist (who was a Republican when Florida Governor), or his current Agriculture Commissioner, Nikki Fried.
“The state is pretty swingy,” Leibovich concluded, adding “DeSantis’ reelection is not a sure thing right now.”