Why DeSantis can beat Trump in 2024

Elon Musk has identified DeSantis as a proponent of the “moderate” policies he allegedly prefers. But DeSantis has accomplished this without positioning himself to the left of Trump on anything. He has not refuted Trump’s claim to have won the 2020 election or affirmed Biden’s legitimacy. He is running sharply to Trump’s right on vaccines, thrilling the anti-vaccine movement as the sole governor not to support the jab for kids under 6 years old.

There is no detectable reservoir of DeSantis skepticism on the party’s right. Infowars, Alex Jones’s conspiracy-theorizing publication, churns out headlines like “DeSantis Blasts ‘Lying’ Biden White House & Legacy Media’s Support of Jabbing Babies With Covid Vax.” The article concludes, “Bold stances like this are why DeSantis is America’s most popular GOP governor and a rising presidential contender.” Joshua Hammer is “all-in for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as the ideal Republican presidential nominee in 2024.”

The Murdoch-owned media, meanwhile, is suggesting with increasing firmness that Trump step aside for DeSantis in 2024. “Tune out the Jan. 6 hearings,” editorializes the New York Post. “Unsubscribe from Trump’s daily emails begging for money. Then pick your favorite from a new crop of conservatives. Look to 2022, and 2024, and a new era.”