Former President Donald Trump asserted in an interview excerpt published Sunday that should he formally enter the 2024 presidential race, he does not expect to face Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — and if he does, he expects to beat him.
In an interview with Yahoo Finance set to be published Monday, Trump said he believed that “most people would drop out” if he entered the race, including DeSantis, an ally of the former president who has been considered a potential candidate in the Republican presidential primary.
“If I faced him, I’d beat him like I would beat everyone else,” Trump said.
Neither the former president nor DeSantis have formally entered the race, though it has been widely reported that Trump seeks to return to the White House and the Florida governor last week announced he would be seeking reelection.
In the interview, Trump expressed confidence in his ability to easily clinch the nomination should he run, citing his support among the Republican base, but said he was not yet ready to commit to doing so.
“If I do run, I think that I’ll do extremely well,” he said, adding that he based his predictions on both polling and “enthusiasm” from voters.
DeSantis gained national attention last year in large part due to his laissez-faire pandemic response. A matchup with the former president could be a test of Trump’s staying power in party politics, as he and DeSantis are closely aligned on key issues.
Recent polling that did not include Trump showed DeSantis leading the pack of potential 2024 contenders. Polling in July that did include Trump as an option showed him easily capturing half of the GOP votes. However, the reliability of polling this far out from an election year is limited.