WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The news of former President Donald Trump running for the Oval Office in 2024 is sending waves through the Republican party in Florida, with speculation that Gov. Ron DeSantis could also seek the GOP nomination.
A recent poll from the Conservative Group Club for Growth shows DeSantis leading Trump in four critical states, including Florida, in a hypothetical match-up.
WPTV on Wednesday set out to hear from local voters on where they stand.
“I used to be a Trump guy, but then DeSantis, he’s way better. Love him,” voter James Berry said.
A penny for your thoughts. Who would voters choose if DeSantis challenges former President Trump for the Republican nomination for president in 2024?
“Keep DeSantis in Florida for four more years and let’s wait. Let’s wait. Let’s let Trump try to save us one more time,” voter Dylan Dore said.
WPTV hit the streets of downtown West Palm Beach during lunchtime to see how voters feel the day after Trump announced he’s going for another term.
“I am running because I believe the world has not seen the true glory this nation can be. We have not reached that pinnacle, believe it or not,” Trump said Tuesday night at his Mar-a-Lago property on Palm Beach.
“100% Trump running for office,” voter Will Fortson said. “Completely support it. And I think after that speech last night, it shows where we need to head in this country. And I hope DeSantis stays in Florida so we can get him for a few years to come.”
Other voters are not so convinced the former president is right for the job a second time around.
“You are alienating four million voters, Florida voters, by just calling childish names to Ron DeSantis,” voter Juan Orellana said. “It makes no sense to me why the Republican party would go through this process and just disintegrate itself. It makes no sense to me.”
“Ron DeSantis is young, he’s intelligent, he’s calm. He’s good for the political front for the Republican party, and I think everyone likes him a lot more than Trump because he just doesn’t come out with all these outlandish things on Twitter and stuff,” Berry said.
As far as the speculation of a presidential run, DeSantis brushed off rumors during a news conference in Matlacha on Wednesday.
“People just need to chill out on some of this,” DeSantis said. “I mean, seriously. We just ran an election.”
In WPTV’s unofficial poll, voters leaned toward DeSantis.