Gun rights group's members back DeSantis over Trump

Gun rights group's members back DeSantis over Trump
AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

The 2022 midterms didn’t go as planned, and a lot of people are pointing fingers in a lot of places. Everyone’s got an opinion as to who is to blame.

A lot of fingers are pointing at former President Donald Trump, who is, in turn, pointing fingers at a lot of other people.

However, if there was a big winner, it might well be Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. He did pretty well down in Florida with a big win against Charlie Crist. It was big enough that Trump is taking swipes at him leading into an expected announcement of his intentions to run again in 2024.

But it seems that if Trump expects support from the gun rights camp, he might need to rethink his plans.

A far-right gun group says its members have switched their allegiance from former President Donald Trump to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for the 2024 presidential election.

The American Firearms Association, citing a poll of its members, announced Friday nearly 69% favor DeSantis for president compared to nearly 29% for Trump. Their survey results in March were reversed, according to the group — nearly 67% for Trump and about 21% for DeSantis.

The announcement comes as Republicans are blaming Trump for underperforming in midterm elections and lauding DeSantis for overwhelmingly winning re-election in the Sunshine State. Trump is expected to soon announce his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election.

“It doesn’t really matter whether or how a poll of members was conducted,” tweeted Jonathan Allen of NBC News. “The fact that they’re releasing this is a signal to the hard right and Trump.”

Of course, this was a Twitter poll, not a professionally-driven one, but it does match many rumblings in and around the right since Tuesday.

A lot of people aren’t thrilled with Trump at the moment, and while I tend to think there’s more than enough blame to go around, launching attacks on a popular governor right after he delivered one of the few wins on what turned out to be a bad night isn’t going to be a good look.

Further, we have to face the facts that Trump was more than willing to throw away the Second Amendment on bump stocks and likely would do so again.

DeSantis hasn’t passed any anti-gun legislation, and while his campaign’s decision to restrict guns at events is troubling, it’s not nearly as troubling to me as actual gun control laws having been enacted via executive fiat.

And yet, none of that likely played a factor in the polling. After all, they’d asked the same question earlier this year and most backed Trump at the time.

It seems the opposition is likely driven by the perception that Trump at least contributed to the disappointing results in the midterms.

At the end of the day, though, this is one group’s Twitter poll. It probably doesn’t mean all that much in the grand scheme of things, especially since we’ll soon have the ball rolling on the 2024 elections and that is where things are going to really matter.