The rise of DeSantis: Is a showdown with Trump inevitable?


(NewsNation) —Former President Donald Trump’s grip on the Republican party seems at times to be unbreakable.

Republicans who speak out against him, such as Rep. Liz Cheney, Wyo., and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Ill., end up being ostracized and even censured by their party for not being loyal to Trump. Other Republicans who oppose Trump get coined with the popular nickname “R.I.N.O” a far-right GOP code for “Republican in name only.”

Yet, one major challenger may be emerging to take on Trump in a presidential primary for the 2024 election: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

A Conservative Political Action Committee poll taken in February showed Trump would lead a primary against DeSantis by a margin of 59% to 28%, a commanding figure for the former president.

Yet there are those who believe the Florida governor, who has yet to announce a run for president, could emerge as a heavyweight challenger to Trump’s reign over the party. A University of New Hampshire study conducted in June showed DeSantis would actually have an edge on Trump by a thin win of 39% to 37% in that state.

“These are warning sign for the president, who still holds a very large lead over every single possible 2024 candidate, including Ron DeSantis, in most polls,” Washington Times political reporter Susan Ferrechio said.

NewsNation’s Dan Abrams spoke with polling experts, a DeSantis campaigner, a Washington political correspondent and a Republican Party strategist about what a possible Trump and DeSantis showdown might look like.

“I think Trump is probably going to underestimate him, I think that DeSantis will probably say ‘Mr. President, thank you for your endorsement, you were very helpful, now it’s time for us to move on,'” said Republican strategist Jim Dornan.

The full episode of “Dan Abrams Live” can be viewed in the video above.

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