The 2024 campaign for President is already heating up.
So far, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis hasn’t said if he’s running or not.
But DeSantis ignited 2024 rumors when he showed up at this star-studded event.
If the GOP Presidential nomination were to take place right now, Donald Trump would win in a landslide.
The two other announced candidates, Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy, are trailing Trump by wide margins in all the polls.
In fact, neither has yet to crack the 10% threshold.
Will he, or won’t he?
Of course right now, all eyes are on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
The popular Florida Governor is the only candidate that gives Trump a run for his money.
While still running behind Trump in most polls, DeSantis is within 5-10% of the former President.
And in at least one recent poll, DeSantis has passed Trump as the odds-on-favorite.
Yet DeSantis still hasn’t indicated whether he is running or not.
But lately there have been some signs the Florida Governor is gearing up for a run.
DeSantis recently hosted an event for top donors, social-media influencers, and GOP elected officials, the latest in a number of moves suggesting he’s readying to battle former President Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican Presidential nomination.
About 150 guests attended the three-day event at the Four Seasons resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
The Florida Governor’s three-day retreat at the Four Seasons hotel kicked off Friday evening with a cocktail reception and dinner for the approximately 150 attendees.
The event was billed as a celebration of the “Florida blueprint” and precedes what most now think is a likely DeSantis Presidential bid that would pit him against Trump.
And the list of attendees shows that the Governor is appealing to major GOP figures who’ve previously aligned themselves with the former President.
Among the wealthy Republican donors who attended were two former Trump donors — Roy Bailey, a longtime Texas fundraiser who helped lead Trump’s campaign finance committee and Arizona Republican Jim Lamon, a solar energy executive and Trump donor who aggressively aligned himself with the former president during his unsuccessful 2022 Senate bid.
The event also included conservative social-media influencers and leading conservative elected officials.
Cutting into Trump’s base
Among the latter in attendance were Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY), Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI,) and Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX).
Johnson and Cotton have been staunch Trump allies, so their attendance was significant.
The event also included several of DeSantis’ fellow Governors, including Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, who was the beneficiary of a Trump-hosted fundraiser during his reelection bid last year.
And Tennessee Governor Bill Lee was in attendance.
Lee was also backed by Trump in his 2022 reelection campaign.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, whose home state hosts the GOP’s first Presidential nominating contest, was also in attendance.
Other notable attendees included conservative commentators Ann Coulter and Dana Loesch.
Also in attendance was former Indiana Congressman David McIntosh, who is now President of the very powerful conservative economic group Club for Growth.
His group, which hasn’t endorsed anyone at this point in the primary, has conducted polling that shows DeSantis winning in a head-to-head matchup with Trump, but losing to Trump in a multi-candidate race.
The Club is hosting its own donor retreat in March with potential 2024 candidates.
While attendance at a political event doesn’t always translate into endorsements and support, the DeSantis event does offer some more evidence he is getting set to take on Trump.
DeSantis Daily will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.