Even though the CPAC conference in early 2021 was set up to be a shrine to Donald Trump, a 2024 presidential straw poll at the end of the event showed that barely half of attendees saw Trump as their first choice, with Florida’s beleaguered Governor Ron DeSantis finishing second.
This was an early sign that Trump’s 2024 prospects didn’t really exist. If he could only get half of the people at his own conference on board with the idea of him running for President again, it wasn’t going to happen. Now that he’s headed for criminal indictment and arrest in New York, and his favorability rating continues to get incrementally uglier, it’s clear that he has no political future. But does he know what?
This matters, at least in his world, because a new straw poll has DeSantis three points ahead of Trump in the 2024 Republican presidential primary contest. The fact that Trump has already fallen to second place within his own party is the latest evidence that he’s toast with regard to 2024. Given what a resentful sad sack Trump has become, perhaps he already understands this. But if not, and news of this poll slips past his babysitters and reaches him, he could end up deciding that DeSantis is a threat to his 2024 ambitions.
In such case, we could see Donald Trump decide to begin attacking Ron DeSantis. That would be remarkable, given that DeSantis’ entire career has been built on Trump worship. But we’ve seen Trump turn against his most loyal allies time and again, once he perceives them as a threat to his own greater glory.
Of course this poll probably isn’t good news for Ron DeSantis either, and not just because it might cause him to run afoul of Donald Trump’s mood swings. When it comes to an inept far right clown like DeSantis who’s already in over his head, one consistent pattern is that becoming a “frontrunner” too soon can be a killer. It brings mainstream scrutiny, and an idiot like DeSantis isn’t built to withstand the spotlight.
In fact DeSantis’ swift rise in Republican presidential polling could end up hurting him in his 2022 reelection bid for Governor of Florida. These kinds of headlines will only serve to place more national scrutiny on DeSantis in 2021 and 2022, which in turn could convince voters in the middle in Florida to turn against him. DeSantis is being challenged by Democrats Nikki Fried and Charlie Crist.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report