Lemire: DeSantis’ Fundraising Shows There’s an Appetite Among Republicans for a Non-Trump Candidate
LEMIRE: "Yeah, lightning struck that one time in an election in which the Republican candidate still lost the popular vote by 3 million votes and the FBI Director put out a letter about the investigation into his Democratic opponent about a week before the voters went to the polls. A lot had to go right that one day for Donald Trump to win, but yet Republicans have seemingly taken his example as the model to follow ever since with this meanness, this grievance, the culture wars, which, as you just detailed, have not led to a lot of electoral success since. Now, DeSantis has brought all that to Florida. We'll have to see, though of course he won the re-election handily last year, we have to see in the months ahead whether or not that will translate on the national stage. He will have to answer questions about his ability to be — he doesn't have to be a celebrity, but he has to do at least some retail politics. To this point, he hasn't been very good at it. But he hits the road in Iowa next week, so we'll see how that goes. The one thing he has done though, despite the very glitchy launch the other night on Twitter Spaces, he's raised a lot of money. His team says they've raised over $8 million in that first 24 hours, which is more than Trump has raised in months. That’s significant and does show you there’s an appetite among Republicans for a non-Trump candidate. DeSantis is that guy now. We will see if he keeps that mantle going forward. He certainly has questions to answer, but to your point, there are some in the GOP who want to try a different tact. Whether DeSantis chooses to go that way we will see."