If Ron DeSantis enters presidential race, could he beat Trump?

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis holds up a copy of his new book, "The Courage to be Free," during a campaign-style event at PGT Innovations in Venice, March 1, 2023. Credit: Mike Lang/USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect.

Conservative Political Action Coalition (CPAC) – the annual gathering of the conservative elite – began this week in Washington D.C. Typically, it’s a must-attend event for Republican presidential hopefuls this close to an election year. 

But one of the party’s biggest stars will not be there: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. He has yet to formally announce his candidacy, but it’s widely expected he’ll run. Already, he’s the main challenger to Donald Trump, who formally announced last fall. 

DeSantis is on tour promoting his new memoir, “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival.” He’ll be in Southern California on Sunday at the Reagan Library. He’s also expected to make stops in the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.