JTwo rising stars from the Republican Party, Govs. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Glenn Youngkin (R-VA), have been campaigning for GOP candidates ahead of the midterm elections — but with markedly different approaches.
While DeSantis has leaned into some of the party’s most controversial candidates, including several backed by former President Donald Trump, Youngkin has opted to back more centrist Republicans who are running tight races in blue states. The different approaches offer a glimpse of how the two could strategize again in 2024, as both governors are seen as possible candidates to launch a presidential bid.
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DeSantis has campaigned for seven GOP candidates so far this year in the Senate and gubernatorial races, six of them endorsed by Trump. Among those are GOP Senate candidates JD Vance in Ohio and Blake Masters in Arizona.
“The governor supports candidates who align with the freedom agenda we created in Florida,” DeSantis spokeswoman Lindsey Curnutte said. Told Axios.
Meanwhile, Youngkin is backing 10 Republican gubernatorial candidates, eight of whom are running in states President Joe Biden won in the 2020 election. Only three have been endorsed by Trump.
Youngkin has endorsed only one incumbent governor: Georgian Brian Kemp, whom Trump pushed to oust in the GOP primaries earlier this year.
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“[Youngkin] is thrilled to bring the spirit of Virginia to swing states that look a lot like Virginia last year, to turn the blue states’ culture of defeat into a spirit of victory, and to help turn those purple states and blues in red,” Youngkin’s political adviser Kristin Davison said. said.
Depending on the payoff strategy, this could provide insight into how Republicans can win the White House in 2024. If Youngkin wins big electing Republicans in blue states, and if DeSantis and Trump fail to elect presidential candidates extreme right in red states, this could be a sign that a more conservative strategy is more effective.