Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has made a surprising move by acknowledging in a recent interview that former President Donald Trump “lost” the 2020 election and that Joe Biden is the current president.
DeSantis’s statement breaks from the prevailing sentiment among many of his party’s primary voters who believe that Trump did not lose the election and that his response to the outcome was justified.
This declaration could be seen as a significant risk for DeSantis, as a large portion of the Republican base still supports Trump and rejects the idea of his defeat in 2020. According to a recent New York Times/Siena College poll, almost 40 percent of Republican primary voters, who said they would vote for Trump regardless of the situation, did not believe Trump had committed “serious federal crimes.”
DeSantis has previously tried to avoid discussing Trump’s involvement in the Capitol riots of January 6th, and he has largely sidestepped interactions with mainstream reporters who might question him on this topic.
However, by openly acknowledging the election outcome, he is now engaging with a contentious issue within his party.
While this move could position DeSantis as a more moderate candidate appealing to a broader electorate, it also risks alienating the staunch Trump supporters that are critical in Republican primaries.
With a significant portion of the party considering Trump a victim of persecution, DeSantis’s break from this narrative might lead to backlash among these voters.
In the broader context, DeSantis’s willingness to address Trump’s electoral loss indicates the complex dynamics and internal conflicts within the Republican Party as it navigates the post-Trump era and prepares for the 2024 election cycle..