State Watch

DeSantis dodges question about 2024 polling during trip to Japan: ‘I’m not a candidate’

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Monday dodged a question about polling for the 2024 presidential race during a trip to Japan as the governor, who hasn’t officially launched a White House bid, has continued polling as a top Republican contender in primary hypotheticals. 

Asked about polls that show him trailing former President Trump, DeSantis said, “I’m not a candidate, so we’ll see if and when that changes,” footage released by CNN shows.

Although he’s not officially announced a bid, DeSantis has polled as a top possible contender — and regularly the top potential challenger to Trump — in GOP primary hypotheticals, and he has made moves that have stoked speculation about a possible campaign. He said earlier this year that he would make a 2024 decision after Florida’s legislative session wraps up in May.

But recent polling has shown Trump pulling further ahead of the GOP field, and DeSantis is facing concerns from within his party about his strength and urgency about the race.

The Florida governor met on Monday with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Reuters reports, as part of a four-country trip apparently aimed at upping DeSantis’s and Florida’s international profile. He’s also visited throughout the U.S. on his book tour and met with congressional Republicans in D.C. earlier this month.

After Japan, DeSantis heads to South Korea, Israel and the United Kingdom, according to his office.  

Tags 2024 presidential election Florida Fumio Kishida Japan Ron DeSantis Ron DeSantis

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