With Arizona coming down to the wire and irregularities in Pennsylvania’s vote counting, the race for the presidency could not possibly be closer. If Trump manages to take both states, he is re-elected. If Biden picks up just one (or takes Georgia after more ballots have been “found“), then Democrats will retake the White House.
That means that now is the time to fight, and Republican voters are suddenly paying very close attention to who is willing to stand up right now and who is cowering in the corner.
GOP voters are looking at how prominent GOP officials are behaving as Team Trump and his voters fight for the presidency. @GovRonDeSantis stands out as defending GOP voters in this fight. Who else has done good work?
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) November 5, 2020
Ron DeSantis has not been quiet. He went on Fox News last night and sounded off on a range of issues, from Fox News’ ridiculously early call of Arizona even while it’s clearly in play, to the need for the GOP to fight tooth and nail now that things are so close. That now has DeSantis sitting atop many people’s wish list for 2024.
And speaking of 2024, those Republican hopefuls that chose to go mute during this time should just shut up four years from now. Voters are not going to forget who folded and who stood up and demanded accountability for some of the current insanity going on in these states still counting votes.
If you are quiet right now we don't want to hear from you in 2024. There will be receipts.
That's it. That's the tweet.
— ForAmerica (@ForAmerica) November 5, 2020
Whether the GOP establishment likes it or not, that’s the truth as we head into a possible new, post-Trump era. Things are not going back to what they were during the Obama administration. Republican voters have gotten used to having a politician who fights for them and their wants. Right now, Republican voters want everything possible done to ensure the current election is decided fairly. A big part of that is driving the narrative by speaking out.
Ron DeSantis and Josh Hawley did it without being prompted earlier today. Ted Cruz also made some forceful comments. Nikki Haley put a statement out after the backlash started, which shows she’s at least smart enough to take the hint.
We all owe @realDonaldTrump for his leadership of conservative victories for Senate, House, & state legislatures. He and the American people deserve transparency & fairness as the votes are counted. The law must be followed. We have to keep the faith that the truth will prevail.
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) November 5, 2020
Meanwhile, Lindsey Graham hasn’t made a statement in over 24 hours. That’s a mistake on his part, though he may no longer have his eyes on the presidency as he did in past cycles. Where’s Tim Scott? Larry Hogan? Anyone sitting on the sidelines now shouldn’t be expected to be put in the game in four years. Republican voters are not going to forget, and there’s a litany of figures in right-wing media that will make sure they don’t forget.
Even if Trump is no longer the standard bearer for the party, his legacy will permeate for a very long time. That means fighting with every tool available is a requirement for any Republican wanting their star to rise to be considered for something more than they currently are. Ron DeSantis, among others, gets that, and it’s why he’s near the top of many short-lists right now. He was also outspoken during the worst parts of COVID, defending his state’s response. That’s what voters want to see. They don’t want to see good faith extended to a party that spent the last four years calling Donald Trump illegitimate because he “stole” the election. No Democrat official in Pennsylvania or Michigan should be trusted.
Speak now or shut up in four years.
(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)