Trump Is Racking Up Endorsements In Florida. Ought to DeSantis Be Frightened?


The primary one got here all the best way again in November. The second was on March 20. Then there have been a pair extra within the first two weeks of April.

Then, final week, it was a flood: Seven U.S. representatives from Florida endorsed former President Donald Trump within the 2024 Republican presidential main. It was a dominant present of help within the house state of Trump’s presumed principal rival for the nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — and it got here the very week DeSantis traveled to Washington, D.C., to courtroom members of Congress. As an alternative, although, he principally simply bought unhealthy press: Members of Florida’s congressional delegation publicly complained about how little that they had heard from DeSantis till not too long ago. 

Trump’s Florida endorsement haul is spectacular not just for 2024; it’s spectacular by historic requirements too. In keeping with FiveThirtyEight’s historic database of endorsements in presidential primaries, Trump’s 11 congressional endorsements from Florida are essentially the most for any presidential candidate from a rival’s house state at this level within the main calendar since a minimum of 1972 (excluding primaries wherein an incumbent president was operating for reelection).

Admittedly, that is maybe unsurprising since Trump is an ex-president operating for reelection. And it’s most likely not a coincidence that the presidential candidate with the second-most endorsements from a rival’s house state on this time-frame was a sitting vice chairman: George H.W. Bush, who by the tip of April 1987 had been endorsed by 9 Republican representatives from New York, the house state of then-Rep. Jack Kemp.

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Neither is it a coincidence that the states from which Trump and Bush earned so many endorsements have been Florida and New York. These are huge states with a number of representatives; most states don’t even have 9 members of Congress to get endorsed by! However Trump’s degree of help in Florida is spectacular whilst a share of the state’s Home delegation (a minimum of those that belong to the identical social gathering). Trump has been endorsed by 55 p.c (11 out of 20) of Florida’s Republican representatives. That’s the second-highest endorsement fee amongst same-party representatives from a rival’s house state since 1972, behind Bush in 1987.

Trump has nabbed a excessive share of Florida endorsers

Presidential candidates endorsed by a minimum of three U.S. representatives from one among their rivals’ house states by April 30 the yr earlier than incumbent-less presidential primaries, the share of all representatives of the identical social gathering in that state who endorsed them and endorsements from its senators or governor

Endorsee Yr Social gathering State (Rival) % of Reps. Sens. Gov. Received Nom.?
George H.W. Bush 1988 R NY (Jack Kemp) 64% 0 0
Donald Trump 2024 R FL (Ron DeSantis)* 55 0 0 ?
Donald Trump 2024 R SC (2 candidates) 50 1 1 ?
Hillary Clinton 2016 D MD (Martin O’Malley) 43 2 0
Elizabeth Warren 2020 D MA (2 candidates)* 33 1 0
Joe Biden 2020 D PA (Joe Sestak) 33 1 0
Rudy Giuliani 2008 R CA (Duncan L. Hunter) 32 0 0
Jeb Bush 2016 R FL (Marco Rubio)* 29 0 0
George W. Bush 2000 R NY (Steve Forbes) 25 0 0
Pete Wilson 1996 R CA (Bob Dornan)* 20 0 0
Mitt Romney 2008 R CA (Duncan L. Hunter) 16 0 0
Kamala Harris 2020 D CA (3 candidates)* 9 0 1

*Additionally the endorsee’s house state.

Candidates can not endorse themselves.

Sources: “The Social gathering Decides,” information studies

However Florida isn’t the one one among his rivals’ house states the place Trump is racking up the endorsements. Arguably, his power in South Carolina is simply as spectacular. Half (three of six) of the state’s Republican Home members have endorsed him, plus Sen. Lindsey Graham and Gov. Henry McMaster — even though he’s operating in opposition to not one however two South Carolinians: former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott. (Scott shouldn’t be formally within the race, however he has fashioned an exploratory committee.)

We can also’t ignore the truth that Florida is technically Trump’s house state as effectively. Though DeSantis doubtlessly holds particular declare to the Sunshine State as its governor, Trump established residency there in 2019, and he most likely enjoys some favorite-son standing too. Certainly, 4 of the opposite candidates within the desk above are included solely as a result of they locked up a major variety of endorsements in their very own states — which simply so occurred to even be house to a number of of their rivals. 

As historic as Trump’s help in Florida and South Carolina is, although, it’s not clear what it means for his possibilities of successful the nomination. Early endorsements in a rival’s house state aren’t an amazing predictive measure; simply look the place the opposite candidates within the desk ended up. Bush gained the Republican nomination in 1988, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (who is available in slightly below Trump within the desk) gained the Democratic nod in 2016. However solely two different candidates within the desk gained their primaries, and the 4 who had excessive endorsement charges of their house states all misplaced. The truth is that dominating endorsements in only one state isn’t sufficient to win a nationwide main; you want broader help (and amongst voters, not simply your fellow politicians).

That mentioned, Trump is the one individual on this listing who dominated endorsements within the house state of their principal rival. Kemp wasn’t a significant participant in that 1988 race; Clinton made the listing as a result of she racked up endorsements not in Vermont (house of Sen. Bernie Sanders) however in Maryland (house of former Gov. Martin O’Malley). Rep. Seth Moulton and former Gov. Deval Patrick have been nonfactors within the 2020 Democratic main, so it’s not that spectacular that Sen. Elizabeth Warren gained endorsements from three of their 9 fellow Massachusetts Democrats. In 2008, former New York Metropolis Mayor Rudy Giuliani most likely didn’t have a lot hassle wresting California endorsements away from then-Rep. Duncan L. Hunter (who?). I might go on.

Perhaps not each endorsee within the desk above gained the nomination — however none of the rivals they embarrassed on their house turf did. In the end, the pattern measurement of campaigns the place one candidate bought a ton of endorsements from an opponent’s house state might be too small to attract any significant conclusions from. Nevertheless it’s not a good signal for DeSantis that his fellow Floridians favor one other man to be president.

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