Former President Donald Trump is considering launching his campaign early and right in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ backyard, Rolling Stone reports.
Trump has discussed a flashy campaign launch ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, according to the report.
Trump is eying a Florida campaign launch to “assert his dominance of an ascendant DeSantis,” who is considered a top Republican contender, sources told the outlet.
One source said that Trump’s motivation is to show DeSantis “who the boss is.”
Trump has even asked about locations close to DeSantis’ governor’s mansion in Tallahassee.
Though Trump has not said he plans to run again, he has privately told confidants he plans to run. Some Republicans have cautioned Trump to hold off his announcement until after the midterms.
Trump grumbles about DeSantis:
“One time that he did bring up the Florida [launch] scenario was quickly followed by him commenting on how terrible DeSantis was at public speaking and commanding an audience … [and that he’s] lacking in so much charisma and he’s so boring that Florida Republicans would leave Ron immediately for Trump [in a 2024 match-up],” one source who discussed the matter with Trump told Rolling Stone.
The source added that Trump has been telling those around him that DeSantis is “very overrated.”
Trump polls the field:
Top Trump pollster John McLaughlin told Rolling Stone that their polling shows Trump trouncing the competition, including DeSantis.
“According to our last national poll, Republican primary voters would support President Trump 83-14 and in a field of 13 potential opponents no one comes close,” he said. “Trump 57 percent. DeSantis 15 percent. Everyone else [is at] single digits.”
But some Republicans worry Trump could damage the party further.
“DeSantis is a newer, fresher face. The age difference between DeSantis and Biden would show a contrast between young and old that would cut across party lines,” Dan Eberhart, a major GOP donor, told the outlet. “Trump’s profile is large but we did [lose] both the House and Senate under his watch.”