Republican voters are flocking to Ron DeSantis — but why?

He's surging in the polls and being called a potential Trump-slayer, but what's he done to earn the praise?

Ron DeSantis.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images)

With the 2022 midterm elections only weeks behind us, pundits and pollsters have already begun projecting their powers of prognostication forward to 2024 and the upcoming presidential race that will inevitably be dubbed the "most important election of our lifetime" like so many before. But as the full effect of November's midterms comes into sharper relief, the drumbeat of one emerging narrative has echoed particularly loudly: that of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) and the potential threat he poses to former President Donald Trump, should the pair go head-to-head for the GOP presidential nomination.

While he's unquestionably enjoying a post-midterm high of good press and even better polling numbers, what's more open to debate is just why Republican voters are seemingly so enamored with DeSantis to begin with. Having only just won a second term as governor in November, what exactly has the Floridian accomplished since first being elected to statewide office just four years ago — and how have those accomplishments helped fuel his meteoric rise within the GOP? Here's everything you need to know:

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Rafi Schwartz, The Week US

Rafi Schwartz has worked as a politics writer at The Week since 2022, where he covers elections, Congress and the White House. He was previously a contributing writer with Mic focusing largely on politics, a senior writer with Splinter News, a staff writer for Fusion's news lab, and the managing editor of Heeb Magazine, a Jewish life and culture publication. Rafi's work has appeared in Rolling Stone, GOOD and The Forward, among others.