Election Predictions - DeSantis Faces Re-Election Hurdle Before Setting Sights on 2024
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) used his State of the State address on Jan. 11 to hammer home several of the Republican Party’s key national themes, including immigration and critical race theory. The speech further sets the stage for a crucial year ahead for the governor as he looks to win re-election in November, and then, potentially, tee up a run for the White House in 2024.
“In Florida, we have protected the right of our citizens to earn a living, provided our businesses with the ability to prosper, fought back against unconstitutional federal mandates, and ensured our kids have the opportunity to thrive,” said DeSantis.
The speech had all the trappings of a political address. Although he denies he’s thinking about it, DeSantis is widely considered a top Republican candidate to seek the US presidency in 2024. His political action committee has accepted donations from big-name out-of-state donors, a sign of his growing influence in the party, as some Republicans see him as a more predictable option than former President Donald Trump.
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But DeSantis needs to first win the 2022 Florida gubernatorial election in the renowned swing-state before he can start thinking about a US presidential campaign. His speech was in part a balancing act, drawing on local themes that command bipartisan support. It addressed the tragic condominium collapse last year in Surfside, and his plan to dramatically overhaul the state’s standardized testing system, a proposal with rare bipartisan support.
The political betting website, PredictIt, currently has DeSantis as a heavy favorite at 85¢ to win the 2022 Florida governor’s race this fall. Speaking of whom DeSantis may go up against, the prediction markets have Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) and Florida’s only statewide-elected Democrat, Nikki Fried, in a virtual tie as they bid to win the 2022 Florida Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
At 28¢, DeSantis’ currently occupies the position of most likely alternative candidate in the 2024 US Republican presidential nomination market. Since launching in early 2021, the Florida governor has been the trader choice if former President Trump decides not to seek another run at the White House. The story is similar in the 2024 US presidential election market, where DeSantis only trails Trump and current President Joe Biden — with the former leading the latter 31¢ to 23¢. His odds of winning are almost double that of Vice President Kamala Harris — 20¢ to 11¢ — and almost three times that of Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who is trading at 7¢ as an alternative to a Biden candidacy.