OPINION: Ron DeSantis, Not Trump, Offers the Best Path to the Future Republican Party

Matt O'Hern

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Ron DeSantis 2022 victory speech.Photo byNew South Politics

Donald Trump has good reason to fear a potential challenge from Ron Desantis. Republican Party leaders are attempting dissuade Trump for a 2024 candidacy announcement slated for next week, and others are hoping the results elevate DeSantis, thanks to the governor’s truly outstanding night. Proving to be a positive outlier for the GOP, DeSantis not only surpassed expectations, but conquered territory once thought hopeless for the party, including major metro areas including the former liberal safe haven that was Miami-Dade.

While Georgia and Nevada finish tallying their votes, Florida was been decided since the first hour after polls closed on Election Night. Nobody can deny that Trump’s reign as kingmaker of the Republican Party has come to a grinding halt. What should have been a red wave dissolved into steady seas, and the GOP failed to capitalize on a weakened Democratic Party, thanks to underachieving, gaffe-prone candidates who were endorsed by Trump in Republican primary elections. As the GOP has discovered, the conspiracy-minded, 2020 election result-denying candidates failed to appeal much further beyond the extreme Trump loyalist wing.

Rather than showing any evidence of renewed hope to dominate swing states necessary for a 2024 victory in 2022, Trump’s failed to attract support with record-high inflation dogging President Biden and the Democratic Party in power.

FLORIDA COUNTIES THAT RON DESANTIS FLIPPED TO RED IN 2022:

As Walker limped to a likely runoff in Georgia, Trump’s potential 2024 Republican rival one state south was winning formerly deep blue territory including Hillsborough County (Tampa), Osceola County (Kissimmee), Duval County (Jacksonville), Miami-Dade County, which hasn’t been won by a Republican Presidential candidate since George H.W. Bush walloped Mike Dukakis in 1988.  See the map below featuring the counties DeSantis flipped from Democratic to Republican in 2022.

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Florida Counties that Flipped from Red to Blue from 2020 to 2022Photo byNew South Politics

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Matt O’Hern’s journalism experience includes political news reporting for various organizations and news publications in Florida since 2005. O’Hern graduated from Samford University in Birmingham, AL with a degree in journalism.

Orlando, FL
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