On Wednesday night, Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis confirmed that he has agreed to participate in a debate, responding to a challenge set by California Governor Gavin Newsom.
During a Fox News interview with host Sean Hannity, who is set to moderate the debate, DeSantis confirmed his acceptance of the challenge.
Hannity inquired about DeSantis' response to Newsom's proposition, to which DeSantis replied, “Absolutely, I'm game.”
“Let’s get it done. Just tell me when and where we’ll do it,” DeSantis said as the audience applauded. “In one respect, the debate between California and Florida has already been had, as you suggest, people have been voting on that, they’ve been voting on it with their feet, they have fled California in record numbers.”
“Florida has been the number one state for net in-migration,” DeSantis noted, adding, “We have the number one ranked economy, number one now in education, crime rate at a 50-year-low. But in another sense, this is the debate for the future of our country because you have people like Joe Biden, they would love to see the Californication of the United States.”
“Biden may not even be the nominee,” DeSantis stated. “You could have Gavin Newsom, you could have Kamala Harris. And I think if we go down that direction, that’s going to accelerate American decline. We can’t see America decline anymore. We need to reverse.”
According to the New York Times/Siena poll, which FiveThirtyEight rates as the nation's premier poll, DeSantis is second only to former President Donald Trump in the Republican Party presidential primary.
The poll revealed that other candidates are not anywhere near breaking into double digits. Former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley all hold just 3%. The rest of the candidates each have a share of 2% or less.
Though Trump currently seems to hold a commanding lead with slightly over half of the votes in the New York Times/Siena poll, the survey revealed that almost half of the respondents who picked Trump — 46% — indicated they are “considering other candidates.”