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It’s Don vs. Ron! The MAGA battle comes to Florida as Trump and GOP Governor hold dueling rallies in their final midterms push – after ex-President called him ‘DeSanctimonious’ and bragged he is beating him in the 2024 polls

  • Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis are holding political rallies in Florida Sunday 
  • Trump is headlining a ‘Make America Great Again’ rally in Miami while DeSantis appears on Florida’s other coast in Lee, Hillsborough and Sarasota counties
  • The popular Sunshine State governor’s reluctance to rule out a 2024 primary challenge against Trump has rankled the former president 
  • Trump tore into potential primary rivals at a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday 
  • DeSantis is appearing at three events for his ‘Don’t Tread on Florida’ tour 
  • He’s amassed a war chest of roughly $200 million, an eye-popping sum for a gubernatorial candidate that’s more on par with a national race 

The Sunshine State is bracing for a political battle on Sunday that could set the stage for a messy 2024 primary race. 

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Donald Trump is holding his third rally of a four-state swing on Sunday evening, gearing up to take the stage in Miami, Florida just two days before Election Day.

Meanwhile, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is hitting three separate counties for his own speaking events  – but will be giving Trump a wide berth in Miami-Dade.

The former president is set to speak at 5 p.m. after a litany of fellow Republicans warm up the crowd.

Those set to appear on stage before Trump include Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, and House Reps. Matt Gaetz, Vern Buchanan and Michael Waltz among others.

DeSantis was notably excluded from the event – not a surprise given the increasingly hostile relations between the GOP rising star and its de facto party leader. 

At his second of four rallies on Saturday night, Trump mocked DeSantis as ‘Ron De-Sanctimonious’ in Pennsylvania while dismissing a list of potential 2024 Republican challengers.

The popular Republican governor has resisted taking public shots at Trump, perhaps aware of how intertwined their bases are, but has not ruled out the possibility of challenging him in 2024.

Donald Trump mocked Ron DeSantis as 'Ron DeSanctimonious' at a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday night

Donald Trump mocked Ron DeSantis as ‘Ron DeSanctimonious’ at a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday night

While Trump appears in Miami, DeSantis will speak at three rallies closer to Tampa on Sunday

While Trump appears in Miami, DeSantis will speak at three rallies closer to Tampa on Sunday

His reluctance to do so has rankled Trump, who has widely taken credit for DeSantis’ rise to political stardom from being just another House Republican to winning a close race for the Tallahassee governor’s mansion in 2018.

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But more recently, DeSantis made a national name for himself with his vocal criticism of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 precautions and other attacks, as well as legislation targeting LGBTQ youth.

The vast majority of early 2024 GOP voter polls have put DeSantis right behind Trump in terms of who Republicans want as their next presidential nominee.

Trump has not yet formally declared his intent to run but he’s dropped several hints making it clear where he leans.

‘We’re winning big, big, big in the Republican Party for the nomination like nobody’s ever seen before,’ the former president said on Saturday night.

He asked for poll numbers to be put up on the screen above him. 

‘There it is, Trump at 71, Ron DeSanctimonious at 10 percent,’ Trump said derisively.

‘Mike Pence at 7, oh, Mike is doing better than I thought. Liz Cheney there’s no way she’s at 4 percent. There’s no way. There’s no way. But we’re at 71 to 10 to 7 to 4.’

Surprisingly, among the first high profile Republicans to rush to DeSantis’ defense was Mike Pompeo – Trump’s former secretary of state and a potential 2024 contender himself.

‘Not tired of winning. [Governor Ron DeSantis] you’ve proven conservative policies work. Florida is better for it. Vote for [DeSantis].’

Trump’s inner circle has been eyeing November 14 as the expected date for him to announce a third bid for the White House, Axios reported last week.

DeSantis, meanwhile, is making the closing arguments for his own re-election bid.

He’s running for a second gubernatorial term against Charlie Crist, a House Democrat who previously governed Florida from Tallahassee as a Republican.

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Despite staying mum on his presidential ambitions, DeSantis has amassed a massive $200 million war chest for his 2022 re-election bid – an eye-popping sum for a gubernatorial candidate.

His Sunday rallies are part of his ‘Don’t Tread on Florida’ tour.

It’s seeing him go to Lee, Hillsborough and Sarasota counties to gin up voter support today.  

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