In Dossier No. 41 Stefano Graziosi analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor who appears to be Donald Trump's main challenger for the Republican nomination.
- Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida since 2019, has announced his bid in the Republican primary for U.S. president. He is credited as the leading challenger to former President Donald Trump.
- In his work as governor, DeSantis has waged numerous battles - against woke ideology, against censorship by Big Tech, against anti-covid restrictions - that have made him a national figurehead for many American conservatives.
- DeSantis's strengths will be his relatively young age (44, compared to Trump's 76), effective fundraising ($8 million in just 24 hours after announcing his bid), and an increasingly likely media endorsement from Elon Musk and, perhaps, Rubert Murdoch's Fox as well.
- However, DeSantis is starting from a strong trailing in the polls to Trump. He will probably try to catch up by overtaking Trump on the right, but this could alienate DeSantis from the votes of independents and disillusioned Democrats. The risk associated with this strategy is that he will be uncompetitive for the general election should he succeed in winning the nomination.
- Trump's popularity among the Republican base is making many minor candidates at this stage prefer to focus criticism on the second strongest candidate - namely DeSantis - rather than the former president.
- It is very unlikely that the primaries could close with a ticket (presidential candidate and vice presidential candidate) between Trump and DeSantis. Rather, in the event of a stalemate, a third candidate could emerge.
- So far DeSantis has not expressed himself much on foreign policy, which is unlikely to be a dominant theme in the primaries. On the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, however, his position seems similar to Trump's, i.e., critical of excessive U.S. support for Kiev without placing clear boundaries on Ukrainian behavior.
READ ONLINE41 - La candidatura di Ron DeSantis
Researcher of Centro Studi Machiavelli. Graduated in Political Philosophy (Catholic University of Milan) with a thesis on Leo Strauss. He deals with international politics collaborating with "La Verità" and "Panorama". His last book is Trump contro tutti. L'America (e l'Occidente) al bivio (2020), written with Daniele Scalea.