Trailing Trump, DeSantis still bears burdens that have brought down past front-runners

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis trails former President Trump in polls for the 2024 election but remains a strong alternative for Republicans.

DeSantis’ position: Though decidedly an underdog to Trump, DeSantis is a leading alternative to Trump should Republicans need one.
* DeSantis’ poll standing makes him the first choice of one in four Republicans and the second choice of half the party.

Competitors: Other declared GOP candidates like Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Asa Hutchinson, and Vivek Ramaswamy remain largely unknown.
* Mike Pence, Trump’s former vice president, has a base of evangelical supporters but has not yet declared his entry into the race.

Potential challenges: Being the party’s Plan B makes DeSantis a target for Trump and other candidates who will attack him.
* DeSantis’ fraught relationship with mainstream media may also prove difficult, as any missteps will attract negative attention.

Historical examples: Previous front-runners like Jeb Bush, Rudy Giuliani, and Hillary Clinton faced significant challenges and defeats despite early anticipation and support.

View original article on NPR

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