Ron DeSantis dismissed falling poll numbers during his trip through Japan, claiming that it doesn’t matter if he dips behind Donald Trump because he isn’t officially in the running.
The Florida governor suggested his Republican primary candidacy status and the poll numbers could change soon, but still didn’t take any steps toward making an announcement.
‘I’m not a candidate, so we’ll see if and when that changes,’ DeSantis told reporters in Tokyo, Japan while standing alongside his wife and Florida’s first lady Casey DeSantis.
The comments come following the release of NBC News’ first national 2024 primary poll on Sunday that showed former President Trump ahead of DeSantis by 15 percent.
It also comes as reports revealed that President Joe Biden is expected to announce his reelection campaign on Tuesday.
Despite the governor’s continued brush off of questions surrounding a potential candidacy, DeSantis continues to traverse the country under the guise of a book tour – and has now taken his travels international.
After Japan, the Florida first couple and their children will go to South Korea, Israel and the United Kingdom.
During the Japan visit, Casey donned a white pants suit with floral pattern on the jacket, while the governor wore the classic navy blue suit with a red tie.
Ron and Casey DeSantis met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi. The foreign travels and high-profile meetings are only further fueling buzz that DeSantis will announce a White House bid soon.
In recent months, DeSantis was inching closer to Trump in the polls, even beating him in a few local, regional and national surveys. But the recent indictment against Trump in the Stormy Daniels hush-money payment case has boosted his stance with Republicans.
Seventy percent of GOP respondents told NBC’s polling that they feel it’s more important now to rally around Trump’s 2024 bid following the charges.
The poll shows Trump with 46 percent support from Republican primary voters compared to DeSantis’ 31 percent. The Florida governor has not yet announced a White House bid but is largely seen as the only potential candidate that could give Trump a good fight.
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DeSantis has consistently come in second place to Trump.
The double-digit primary election lead was coupled with poll results showing that only 6 percent of Americans want to see a rematch of 2020 between Trump and President Joe Biden.
The president is reportedly prepared to soft-launch his 2024 reelection campaign on Tuesday.
Some of Trump’s 2024 rivals have suggested that the arraignment of Trump earlier this month was a way for Democrats to ensure his candidacy in 2024 because they believe that he will lose a general election against Biden.
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