Choosing Trump over DeSantis for 2024 is political suicide

Election 2022 Florida Governor
Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during a campaign rally, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Hialeah, Fla.(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) Lynne Sladky/AP

Choosing Trump over DeSantis for 2024 is political suicide

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The biggest takeaway as Republicans limp to the finish line in the midterm elections is that former President Donald Trump is toxic and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is a winner. Choosing Trump over DeSantis for 2024 would be political suicide.

Trump’s handpicked candidates were disasters up and down the ballot. In Pennsylvania, gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano was an anchor on GOP candidates, and Mehmet Oz couldn’t defeat the empty husk of John Fetterman in a Senate race that was crucial for the GOP to win. Kari Lake and Blake Masters are currently projected to lose in Arizona.


Trump scared New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu away from seeking the GOP nomination for the Senate. Sununu cruised to reelection in his race, while election conspiracy theorist Don Bolduc lost the Senate race in his stead. Trump tried to destroy Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in GOP primaries. Now, both Kemp and Raffensperger have easily clinched reelection, while Trump-endorsed Herschel Walker won’t even break 50%, sending Georgia to another Senate runoff.

To top it all off, while Democrats were celebrating a better-than-expected performance, Trump was celebrating right along with them, cheering as Republican Joe O’Dea fell short in the Colorado Senate race.

DeSantis, meanwhile, utterly dominated. With over 95% of the vote reporting, DeSantis leads Democrat Charlie Crist by nearly 20 points. The red wave Republicans (and just about everyone else expected) only really came to pass in Florida so far, thanks in large part to DeSantis sitting at the top of the ticket. You may recall that Trump only won Florida by fewer than 4 points in 2020. DeSantis has removed the Sunshine State from the swing state category.

The path forward for the GOP is glaringly obvious. With Trump looming over the party, Republicans failed in several high-profile races and reduced the red wave to a red blip in the House of Representatives. Trump is a loser, and that has been clear in election cycle after election cycle. DeSantis, meanwhile, has only strengthened not just his position but that of the Florida GOP since being elected.

It would be political suicide to choose Trump over DeSantis. That was true before the midterm results rolled in, and it is undeniable now. Democrats don’t shut up about Trump because they know his presence helps him, and establishment media have made it clear they fear DeSantis more. If Republicans choose to give them what they want and nominate Trump, then they will lose in embarrassing fashion, again. And they will deserve it.


© 2022 Washington Examiner

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