According to Ed Rollins, the campaign strategist behind the 1984 Reagan reelection who’s now working with a DeSantis PAC, it’s increasingly looking like a Trump 2024 presidential run is sure to happen.
Speaking on that, Rollins was quoted by the Epoch Times as saying, as of June 14th:
“The information that I’ve gotten the last several weeks is Trump is definitely running”
That could be wrong, however, as it is not congruent with what he said in a pro-DeSantis fundraising email on June 10th. In that email, he said:
“Donald Trump is not running, that’s why we have to prepare for Ron DeSantis running for President if we’re going to have any shot at restoring Donald Trump’s America-First agenda and getting America back on track.”
However, explaining away the difference, Rollins, in his interview with the Epoch Times about the potential for a Trump run and a DeSantis run, said:
“We’re not working at all against Trump, At that point in time, I didn’t know if he [Trump] was running or not. What I’ve said since has made it clear is that he [DeSantis] won’t run against Trump.”
But he does seem to think that DeSantis would be a better candidate, which is why he has kept the DeSantis machine rolling despite being reasonably certain that Trump will run, though the Epoch Times implies that if Trump does run and DeSantis then decides not to do so, then the fundraising apparatus would be turned to helping Trump win.
That might be the most likely situation as, regardless of whether DeSantis and Trump end up competing or if DeSantis backs off beforehand and doesn’t fight Trump, it’s looking like Trump will dominate the field.
Recent polling reported on by the Morning Consult, for example, found that more than half of the GOP supports Trump over anyone else, and though DeSantis was the closes runner up, he still only had 16% of the vote compared to Trump’s 53%. The Morning Consult, reporting on that, said:
June 4-5 survey, 53% of GOP voters said they would vote for Trump over at least a dozen other potential candidates if the 2024 Republican presidential primary were held today — down just 3 percentage points from his potential vote share in a survey conducted before 2022’s primary season heated up.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — who for the second year running defeated Trump in an unscientific straw poll of conservative activists at the Western Conservative Summit in Colorado over the weekend — saw his support tick up from 13% to 16%.
16% isn’t bad, and it beats Mike Pence by a few points, but it’s still light years away from Trump’s whopping 53%. Assuming that result holds even somewhat constant heading into 2024, Trump will be the GOP pick; though DeSantis is a rising star and a wonderful candidate, Trump is Trump and it’ll be hard for anyone, even DeSantis, to top him.
So perhaps the DeSantis fundraising will continue, but unless Trump changes course dramatically, it’ll end up in his campaign coffer when he fights Brandon or whoever the Democrats put up.