Brexit leader Nigel Farage has warned that a “titanic clash” is looming between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis, the two leading candidates for the Republican nomination for President in 2024.
Farage said that while Republican gains in Congress will limit President Biden’s ability to govern, the failure of the ‘Red Wave’ to materialise will elevate DeSantis in the eyes of conservative voters.
Breitbart.com reports: The veteran political campaigner turned GB News host said that discussions “within the Republican party as to whether they should pick Trump or DeSantis is going to reach fever pitch, in my opinion, over the next few weeks, and I say that as a friend of Donald Trump.”
While the Red Wave apparently failed to materialise, Governor DeSantis swept to a stunning victory, defeating his Democrat challenger, former governor Charlie Christ by nearly 20 per cent, up from a 0.4 per cent victory in the 2018 contest that saw him become governor of Florida. In a speech from Tampa, DeSantis said that Florida Has “rewritten the political map” after making dramatic gains in former Democrat strongholds such as Miami-Dade county.
Mr Farage said that in light of the large margin for victory for the Florida governor “the numbers supporting the DeSantis will be much higher than it was before, so there could be a really titanic clash here between two alpha males.”
Though the Brexiteer said that he believes if the contest were held now, Trump has the advantage as he had the “overwhelming support” of the Republican base, Farage said that DeSantis is now a “serious challenger to that position,” given his proven ability to convince voters outside of the party’s base.
There has already been some brewing tensions between the two potential presidential contenders, with Trump openly mocking the Florida governor at a rally in Pennsylvania over the weekend, dubbing him “Ron DeSanctimonious”. However, despite the nickname, Mr Trump did reveal that as a Florida resident, he voted for DeSantis on Tuesday.
For Trump, the evening was a mixed bag in terms of endorsements. While MAGA candidates such as Eric Schmitt in Missouri, J.D. Vance in Ohio, Katie Britt in Alabama, Ted Budd in North Carolina prevailed, other key candidates fell to the Democrats such as gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano and Senate candidate Dr Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania.
Several key races remain undecided at the time of this reporting, however, including the Arizona governor and Senate races for Kari Lake and Blake Masters, respectively, who are considered some of the most closely aligned candidates to the former president.
Mr Farage said: “I just think that if Kari Lake wins, then the Trump train is still on, but if Kari Lake doesn’t win, he’s going to have some slight second thought. I still think he will [run] but he will face a tough challenge from DeSantis.”