Ron DeSantis(l), Ballot(r)

Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock vondrachek/Twitter (Licensed)

DeSantis diehards push supporters to keep voting for him in primary—banking on ‘shadow’ campaign being real

Some see hope, somehow.


Tricia Crimmins


Posted on Feb 27, 2024   Updated on Feb 27, 2024, 9:52 am CST

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination in January, but that isn’t stopping some Republicans from voting for him. In fact, a niche group of Republicans on social media are urging others to continue to cast their vote for the former candidate.

“Today is February 27, 2024 and @RonDesantis remains the standout choice for President of the United States,” X user @theasrealas tweeted today. He has posted similar messages on his X account since before DeSantis dropped out of the race on Jan. 22.

Others shared that they voted for DeSantis in their state primaries.

“I proudly cast my vote for Ron DeSantis in the SC Presidential primary this morning,” South Carolina voter @LynnieMac429 tweeted last week. Former President Donald Trump (R) won the state’s primary and got 47 of its delegates.

His sole remaining competitor, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley won three delegates.

In South Carolina, DeSantis gained 2,951 votes compared to Trump’s over 450,000.

But some aren’t seeing his campaign as completely over. As Trump’s legal stumbles continue, users online have speculated DeSantis hasn’t really dropped out, and is keeping his campaign alive to step in should Trump be jailed or forced to withdraw.

He’s posted multiple videos on his X account about issues along the southern U.S. border and held a press conference on constitutional reforms he said would “hold Washington accountable.”

It’s unclear what will happen to Haley and her base in this dream, who would have a stronger case should Trump falter somehow.

Voters in Super Tuesday states, whose primaries are on March 5, shared their early voting ballots on X saying they are voting for DeSantis, too. Fifteen states vote in the presidential primary elections on Super Tuesday.

“Just filled out my Arizona primary ballot,” @SayWhat85629 tweeted, alongside a photo of the Arizona Republican Party’s early primary ballot. “Ron gets my vote.” Fellow Arizona voter David Paschall said he’s doing the same, as did die-hard DeSantis voters in North Carolina and Texas.

Even after Super Tuesday, which is known for determining a clear frontrunner in the Democratic and Republican races, DeSantis voters are still going to bat for him on their ballots.

“Everybody thought we were kidding when we said we were going to do this. We are not,” Ohio voter @SameOldNancy tweeted about her continuing support for DeSantis. “Just as soon as my Ohio ballot arrives, I’ll be marking it for DeSantis.”

The Ohio primaries are on March 19.

“Voting DeSantis in primary!” @nedK1119 tweeted, alongside a photo of their mail-in Washington Republican primary ballot. Washington’s primary elections are on March 12.

So where will all these DeSantis votes go? Republicans allocate their state delegates either proportional to the fraction of the vote a candidate receives, a winner-take-all method, or a mix of both. And while DeSantis might be able to pick up a handful of delegates—such as the nine he got in Iowa before dropping out—those delegates will probably end up supporting the likely nominee at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in July.

Amazingly DeSantis’ endorsement of Trump after dropping out hasn’t seemed to sway his most hardcore followers, who were prostrate at his failed campaign and refused to support the former president.

“To all those whose core political beliefs still are with Ron DeSantis. Continuing to vote for him,” @FuriasRuler, a DeSantis voter, tweeted. “How we lost our conservative values to an orange buffoon is beyond logic. Trumps opinions are all over the page pandering to every group to avoid a massive defeat by Biden. How Republican politicians can tolerate him is inexplicable.”

And support for DeSantis is so unwavering among a niche group of Republicans that they even plan to vote for him in the general election.

“I can’t wait to cast my vote for Ron DeSantis in the primary,” @IzzyBee0509 tweeted last week. “And the General.”

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*First Published: Feb 27, 2024, 9:50 am CST