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By this point, two things are more or less universally understood about Ron DeSantis among observers of current US politics.

  1. He's planning on running for President in the 2024 elections.
  2. He's the only candidate with a realistic chance to beat Donald Trump for the Republican nomination.

Everyone knows he's going to run for President. He certainly knows it; he's been spending a fair amount of time outside of Florida recently, making speeches and taking other actions that, if his campaign were officially underway, would be clearly understood as campaigning, out on the campaign trail. But he doesn't actually have a campaign underway. As of right now, he has not yet officially announced that he is running for President, even though Donald Trump has, as well as a few other people who are unlikely to come anywhere close to the nomination.

There are obvious downsides to this. Most notably, he can't fundraise for his campaign with no campaign to raise funds for. So there has to be some significant upside to balance that out.

What benefit does Governor DeSantis gain from putting off officially running for President for so long?

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    If we believe this then one advantage is that if it all goes horribly wrong he can claim he was never trying to be President in the first place. Apr 22, 2023 at 20:35

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This is probably not the only reason, but it's been reported that (on its face) Florida law prohibits him from running for POTUS while being governor. However, in the past, the Florida legislature has proven flexible on that:

The resign-to-run measure was reinstated in 2018 after it was taken off the books by the Republican-controlled Florida State Legislature in 2007 for then-Gov. Charlie Crist.

OTOH:

But when reporters asked Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo on March 30 whether an amendment to the resign-to-run law will be a part of the bill that would go into effect July 1, she said, “No, I don’t think so.”

“We’re still researching whether or not we really need it.”


And yeah while officially announcing his candidacy:

He signed 20 bills on Wednesday ahead of his 2024 announcement, including a sweeping elections package that contains an amendment that will pave the way for his presidential campaign while allowing him to remain as governor.

The amendment intends to clarify existing state law so that any person in public office running for president or vice president of the United States is exempt from resigning.

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