Florida Governor Ron DeSantis can offer the GOP a potential eight years in power opposed to former President Donald Trump‘s four, which is something that is catching donors attention, according to Ken Cuccinelli, a former Trump administration senior official.
“It’s definitely on the radar for every single one of them. I haven’t talked to anyone for whom that doesn’t make a very substantial difference,” Cuccinelli said about potential donors while speaking to The Seattle Times on Friday.
Cuccinelli started Never Back Down, a super PAC aimed at supporting DeSantis’ 2024 presidential bid. However, the Florida governor has not yet formally declared a presidential campaign, but he’s long been seen as the strongest potential rival to Trump, who remains the Republican favorite in recent polls. Last November, the former president announced that he was running for president for a third time in 2024.
According to the newspaper, Cuccinelli said he saw firsthand how long it can take for a presidential administration to get its feet underneath it. Cuccinelli served under Trump in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from 2019 to 2021, and said the Trump administration didn’t find the right staffers until Trump’s first term was nearly over.
Trump’s first year in office was marked with several departures, like Reince Priebus, who resigned in July 2017 after the shortest tenure as White House chief of staff in history, and Anthony Scaramucci, who departed just 10 days after he was sworn in as White House communications director.
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former chief strategist Steve Bannon and former press secretary Sean Spicer also departed from the administration in the first year and have remained in the public eye since.
Recently, Trump has outpaced DeSantis in the polls by double digits, leading the former president to boast on Truth Social, his social media platform, on Friday.
“NEW POLL JUST OUT BY EMERSON: DONALD J. TRUMP – 62%, RON DESANCTUS – 16%, MIKE PENCE, 7%. Obviously, people are ‘dreaming’ of Energy Independence, a Strong Military and Borders, Low Taxes and Interest Rates, Respect throughout the World, and so much more. That’s what we had under the Trump Administration. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!” the former president wrote.
Meanwhile, political analyst and Dillard University professor Robert Collins told Newsweek on Saturday, “DeSantis is a lot younger, so he offers the promise of generational change, which is attractive to independent voters. He also comes without the baggage of fighting partisan battles on the national stage for years. Trump fatigue has set in for a lot of independent voters….”
He continued: “The fact that DeSantis has the possibility of serving eight years also appeals to many Republicans, because Trump would basically be a lame duck the moment he got elected, and Congress, if controlled by Democrats, could simply wait him out. For these reasons, polling consistently shows that DeSantis is the stronger candidate in the general election. The challenge DeSantis has is that the primary voters are a very different demographic than the general election voters. And as of right now, the primary voters still favor Trump.”
Newsweek reached out to DeSantis’ team via email for comment.