While the former president still sits atop most 2024 polls, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to draw a significant amount of attention, support, and incoming from other Republicans.
Even if he hasn’t announced his bid, the clear trappings of a presidential bid have become clear, as NBC News’ Jonathan Allen, Natasha Korecki and Ali Vitali report. He’s barnstormed the country talking to police groups, holding donor retreats, selling out book tour appearances, promoting a spate of conservative legislation that both may endear himself with the GOP base while frustrating liberals (which has become a clear way to gain support with the GOP base).
And as other outlets are reporting this morning, DeSantis is taking his nascent campaign right to Trump’s supporters and his turf.
DeSantis’ status as the effective co-frontrunner continues to be reinforced by polling that shows him as the only Trump alternative with a solid base of support — a new Fox News poll shows the governor, starting off at 28% support among GOP primary and caucus voters, behind Trump’s 43% but the only other candidate in double digits.
And it’s reinforced by the actions of some of his rivals. What did Pence do in his NBC interview on Friday before he made that contrast with Trump? He tried to take on DeSantis’ recent comments on Ukraine.
In other campaign news:
Party time: The Nevada Democratic Party is in chaos, reports NBC News’ Natasha Korecki, who obtained documents detailing the schism in the key battleground. In Florida, Democrats looking to rebuild their party picked former gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried as the next chairwoman.
Thanks, but no thanks: Unlike recent presidential election cycles, most senators are passing on running for the White House, NBC News’ Sahil Kapur and Scott Wong report.
All in the details: First Lady Jill Biden told the Associated Press on Friday that President Biden is likely to run for a second term and that “pretty much” all that’s left to do is figure out the details of his campaign announcement. “He says he’s not done,” she said during a trip to Kenya.
Trump tactics: Trump’s campaign is working to cultivate relationships with state party officials “to buttress his chances of getting sympathetic delegates at next year’s nominating convention and identify opportunities to shape party rules that could help his campaign,” the Washington Post reports.
Pledge allegiance to the party: Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told CNN that she expects the RNC will require presidential candidates hoping to participate in primary debates to pledge that they will back the party’s nominee, calling the move a “no-brainer.”
Not afraid to pick sides: The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, plans to play in primaries in 2024 to prevent controversial candidates from advancing to general elections. The new policy was on display at a Florida event attended by former hedge fund manager David McCormick, who is considering another run for Senate in Pennsylvania after losing last year’s primary to TV personality Mehmet Oz.
Slotkin’s running: Michigan Democrat Rep. Elissa Slotkin announced her Senate bid Monday, highlighting her national security service and saying “nothing is more important to me than” Michigan. The decision comes days after multiple potential candidates said that they won’t run — including GOP Rep. John James and Democrats Mallory McMorrow, a state senator, and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, who tweeted over the weekend that “the Governor & I have more work to do.
See ya, Santos?: A new Siena College poll found 66% of New York voters — up from 59% in last month’s survey — who say embattled GOP Rep. George Santos should resign, per Politico.