Trump beats DeSantis on his home turf with high-profile Florida endorsements

April 23, 2023
Robert Ayers

Former President Donald Trump, in the past week, has outstripped his chief Republican 2024 rival - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) - in Florida - by obtaining a spate of endorsements from Florida Republicans. 

According to Forbes, Trump, in fact, already has majority support from Florida U.S. representatives.

The outlet reports:

Seven GOP Florida Congress members endorsed Trump this week over DeSantis for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, bringing Trump’s total to 11, meaning that even if the eight other Florida Republican representatives who have yet to endorse get behind DeSantis, Trump will still have the backing of the majority of Florida’s Republican delegation.

Many experts are predicting that this is bad news for DeSantis, who has yet to even officially announce his 2024 campaign.

The seven

The seven recent endorsements of Trump by U.S. representatives from Florida took place on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of last week.

On Tuesday, U.S. Reps. John Rutherford (R-FL), Greg Steube (R-FL), and Brian Mast (R-FL) announced their support for Trump. Then, on Wednesday, U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), did the same. And, on Thursday, U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) joined the others.

Prior to this, Trump already had the support of U.S. Reps. Byron Donalds (R-FL), Cory Mills (R-FL), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL).

This brings the total of U.S. House members from Florida who have endorsed Trump up to eleven.

Trump celebrated the endorsements on Thursday, saying, "Our support is almost universal in Florida and throughout the USA."

How Trump did it:

On Saturday, The Hill published a report attempting to explain how it is that Trump appears to be dominating DeSantis in DeSantis's home state - at least when it comes to endorsements.

The Hill reports:

Former President Donald Trump is leaning on a network of personal and political relationships to rack up broad congressional support for his 2024 White House bid and undercut his chief Republican rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, before the governor’s campaign formally gets off the ground.

In the report, The Hill goes on to quote a Trump aide as saying, "personal touch is everything for [Trump."

This appears to be the difference maker: Trump has established personal relationships with the Florida Republicans whereas DeSantis has not. Steube and Burchett, for example, have even stated that this is a reason why they have come out in support of Trump.

On top of the endorsements, Trump has also been dominating DeSantis in recent 2024 Republican presidential primary polls. At the moment, things are just not looking too good for DeSantis.

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