Why DeSantis’ 2024 Presidential Bid Is At Risk – OpEd


By Dalia Al-Aqidi*

The indictment of former US President Donald Trump has sent shockwaves through the political landscape. Many wonder how it could impact the 2024 presidential election and whether the GOP will stand behind Trump. One person who may be particularly affected is the young and charismatic Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — widely seen as a potential contender for the Republican nomination.

For the past few years, DeSantis has been a strong supporter of Trump and has often been compared to him in terms of his policies and style. He has also been a vocal critic of the investigation into Trump’s alleged ties to Russia and has defended the former president on numerous occasions.

However, if the former president is proven to be guilty, it could have serious implications for DeSantis. On the one hand, it could further solidify his support among Trump’s base, as he would be seen as one of the few politicians willing to stand up to what many Republicans see as a politically motivated witch hunt. On the other hand, it could also make him a liability for the party, as Democrats would surely use the indictment as evidence of Republican corruption and ties to Trump.

There are a few different ways in which a Trump indictment could impact DeSantis’ presidential bid. First, it could potentially galvanize Trump’s MAGA (Make America Great Again) base and make DeSantis a more appealing candidate to those who are still loyal to the real estate mogul.

Many Trump supporters saw the investigation into his alleged ties to Russia as a politically motivated attack by Democrats and the media, and they might view DeSantis as someone who was, and is, willing to stand up to these forces.

At the same time, the indictment could also hurt DeSantis’ chances with more moderate Republicans and independent voters. These voters may view the indictment as evidence of corruption and cronyism within the GOP, and they may be less likely to support a candidate who is seen as being too closely aligned with Trump.

Another factor to consider is how the indictment will impact the Republican Party as a whole. If Trump is convicted, it could further deepen the divisions within the party between his loyalists and more traditional Republicans. Therefore, this could make it more difficult for any Republican candidate to win the nomination, as they would need to navigate these internal divisions and build a coalition that can appeal to both wings of the party.

However, it is possible that a conviction could also serve as a wake-up call for the party, forcing it to confront some of the more extreme elements within its ranks. This could create an opportunity for a candidate such as DeSantis, who has been seen as a bridge between the two factions of the party to emerge as a unifying figure who can appeal to both Trump loyalists and more moderate Republicans.

Ultimately, the impact of a Trump conviction on the Florida governor’s presidential bid will depend on several factors, including how the trial is perceived by the public, how the GOP responds to it, and who else decides to run for the nomination. If DeSantis can navigate these challenges and build a broad coalition of support, he could emerge as a strong contender for the presidency in 2024.

One thing is for sure, the 2024 presidential election is shaping up to be one of the most controversial and unpredictable elections in modern history. With so much at stake for both parties and so many different factors at play, it is impossible to say for sure how any single event will affect the outcome. What is clear is that Trump’s indictment or conviction will be a significant factor in the race, and one that political observers on both sides of the aisle will be watching closely.

Without any doubt, indicting a former president is a seismic event in American politics, with far-reaching implications for the Republican Party. Whether it ultimately spells the end of Trump’s political career or leads to a renewed push for his presidency, it is likely to be one of the defining moments in modern American politics.

  • Dalia Al-Aqidi is a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy. Twitter: @DaliaAlAqidi

Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

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