Multiple sources have confirmed that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) is set to announce his presidential campaign for 2024 on Wednesday evening, and it’s truly going to be a unique event.
The official announcement is planned to take place during a conversation on Twitter’s “Spaces” feature, which enables audio discussions among users. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and owner of Twitter, will be joining DeSantis for the conversation, which will be moderated by David Sacks. This groundbreaking announcement, scheduled for 6 p.m. ET, will mark the first time a presidential campaign is launched in this manner.
Elon Musk himself has retweeted the news, as originally reported by Bill Melugin from Fox News.
— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) May 23, 2023
In advance of the announcement, a temporary splash page has been set up on RonDeSantis.com.
According to NBC News, as part of his newly official presidential campaign, DeSantis will also release an official campaign launch video on Wednesday night. Then, after Memorial Day weekend, he’ll start a campaign tour of early primary states.
With his announcement, DeSantis will join a crowded field of Republican candidates in the primary race. Just this week, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) announced his campaign. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Larry Elder are all also running.
But DeSantis’s real competition is former President Donald Trump. While Trump maintains a strong lead in the GOP primary match-up polls, it remains to be seen how DeSantis’s campaign will impact the polls once he is an officially declared candidate.
DeSantis has long been Trump’s most formidable challenger in the race to challenge octogenarian Joe Biden’s re-election bid, and the former president has spent months trashing DeSantis in an effort to keep him from running. Trump often brags about his own poll numbers, but a recent CBS News/YouGov poll found that despite his strong lead in GOP primary polls, his support mostly comes from potentially persuadable Republican voters.
During a recent call with donors, DeSantis argued that he is a more reliable candidate to face Biden in 2024: “You have basically three people at this point that are credible in this whole thing. Biden, Trump, and me.” He went on to emphasize that he and President Biden had a realistic shot at winning the presidency, while Trump faced significant challenges. DeSantis backed this claim with data from swing states, which he believed indicated difficulty for Trump in changing public perception. However, both Republicans are in a strong position to win the White House in the general election. According to a recent Washington Post general election poll, both Trump and DeSantis have seven-point leads over Biden.
One thing is for sure: everything will change after Wednesday night. Donald Trump has made his displeasure with DeSantis very clear these past several months, and one can only imagine that he’s saving his most lethal salvo for after DeSantis is officially in the race. This is certainly going to get a lot uglier once the Florida governor is officially in, and we’ll soon find out whether he can make the GOP primary a real horserace with Donald Trump, or whether Trump’s lead is insurmountable.