It was in all the pools that Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida and favorite to face Donald Trump in the Republican primaries, announced his candidacy for the US presidency. this week.
What has taken everyone by surprise is his company in the ad: Elon Musk, the controversial tech billionaire, leader of Tesla and SpaceX and turbulent owner of Twitter.
In fact, the candidacy announcement will be this Wednesday in a live conversation with Musk on that social network, according to NBC.
DeSantis has so far been considered the Republican with the best chance of defeating Trump in the fight for the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential elections. After the lackluster results of the midterm elections last year – some in the party accused Trump of it , for promoting radical candidates, with few options in the decisive states-, many Republicans and related media turned their eyes on DeSantis. He had just won the Florida gubernatorial election for the second time and had established himself as a tireless fighter in the cultural battles against the ‘woke’ agenda.
DeSantis rose in the polls then, but this year he has deflated. Trump’s judicial problems have triggered the former president in the polls, who has not hesitated to stoke his next rival. And DeSantis, lazy when it comes to presenting his candidacy and unable to attack Trump, has been left out of the game.
With the announcement with Musk, he seeks to gain a leading role that is still very far from that of Trump. His presence on Twitter – his appearance with Musk is expected to be at 6pm, midnight in Spain – will give him access to a large social media audience. Then, an hour later, he will appear on Fox News, the network most followed by Republicans, for an interview in which he will outline his vision for the campaign.
But all the attention, not surprisingly, will be on his announcement with Musk. Over the years, the billionaire has taken on a growing role in political discussion, increasingly leaning towards positions close to the Republican party.
The billionaire of South African origin assured that he voted for Joe Biden – the one who will rival Trump or DeSantis next year – in 2020, but since then he has been very critical of the president and his Administration.
In last year’s legislative elections, he defended that the Democratic party was the party “of division and hate” and announced that he would vote for Republican candidates.
He has always shown sympathy with DeSantis and already said last year that he would vote for him as president. In his opinion, Trump would be too old for the position -his second term in the White House would end at 82 years-, and he defended that DeSantis “would easily win” over Biden, “he wouldn’t even have to campaign.”
That will be the center line of DeSantis’s campaign: eligibility. The reason so many Republicans sided with him after the midterms is the theory that Trump has a very die-hard voter base but doesn’t convince the moderates and independents it takes to win the general election. DeSantis yes, according to those forecasts.
The announcement on Twitter also has a symbolic component. That social network was the speaker of the announcements, statements and attacks with which Trump captivated the attention of the public and the US media during his rise to power in 2016. Trump was expelled from the social network in January 2021 for their calls for the protests that ended in the assault on the Capitol. Despite the fact that the veto was lifted a long time ago, Trump has preferred to focus on his own social network, Truth Social, which has not just taken off. DeSantis now makes his grand entrance on the platform where Trump was king and with the aim of defeating him. The former president is at another height at the moment – the accumulated polls of FiveThirtyEight give Trump 53.5% of supportcompared to 20.8% for the governor of Florida- but DeSantis will look for Musk to be his springboard.