OPINION: The Republican Party is its own biggest threat

If Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to win in 2024, he needs to broaden his voter base while steering clear from Trump’s extremism.

The Republican Party has seen a divide within following the announcement of former President Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential run and the poor midterm results. 

If Republicans want a shot at the White House in 2024, the party must distance themselves from Trump’s growing unpopular political ideology.

On Nov. 8, midterm elections subverted expectations of a red wave across the country, with Republicans barely winning the House. To have the majority, one party must reach or pass the threshold of 218 members. Republicans barely won the majority, with only 219 seats as of Nov. 19. 

A majority of Trump-backed candidates lost their elections, as seen in states like Pennsylvania, where Republican Mehmet Oz lost to Democrat John Fetterman. The Senate race in Pennsylvania was closely watched, being seen as an important decider in whether or not the Senate would flip. 

One important factor that caused this was Trump picking candidates who platformed dangerous ideology and far-right extremism.

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis won reelection with a historical 20-point lead, according to a Nov. 9 Politico article. As a popular Republican candidate, it makes sense DeSantis would most likely make a presidential bid in 2024. However, his greatest challenge is within his own party — Trump.

On Nov. 10, Trump made claims on his platform, Truth social, that he had stepped in to stop counties in Florida from counting more votes in order to help DeSantis win in 2018.

“I also fixed his campaign, which had completely fallen apart. I was all in for Ron … I sent in the FBI and the U.S. attorneys, and the ballot theft immediately ended, just prior to them running out of the votes necessary to win. I stopped his election from being stolen,” Trump posted.

Not only are such claims dangerous, but they show a divide beginning within the Republican Party with two prominent members clashing ahead of the 2024 election year. The claims of election interference made by the former president were deemed false by Fact Check Organization on Nov. 11, with no evidence to back up such insane claims.

Trump not only began to cast stones, but announced his bid for the 2024 presidential election in a lackluster speech on Nov. 15, showing he will not be stepping down as the Republican Party’s head-boy, and is willing to take on DeSantis.

Doing this not only will tear the party apart, but will allow Democrats to be able to win a majority with red voters split between two candidates. Either way, Trump has begun to cause the Republican Party to splinter due to his arrogance and overfed ego.

Trump’s far-right extremism has left a stain on what was the two-party system following 2020, best seen on Jan. 6, 2021 where he incited his followers to overthrow the election results due to claiming voter fraud. Trump’s unsupported but popular claim is used ironically by his own lap dogs such as Arizona candidate Kari Lake, who has lost her election against Gov. Katie Hobbs according to a Nov. 14 AP news article.

While DeSantis has not announced his bid to run in 2024, he must begin to appeal to more than just his own party’s base and instead adapt to the changes.