DALLAS — The presidential election is more than a year and a half away, but that hasn't stopped speculation on whether Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis or former President Donald Trump can win Texas.
Especially when last week DeSantis visited the two biggest cities in this state: Dallas and Houston.
The last time Trump was on the primary ballot he had a strong following in Texas. In 2020, Trump overwhelmingly won the Republican primary with 94% of the vote.
Republican consultant Matt Mackowiak thinks Trump’s support in Texas is not as strong as it was in 2020.
“It certainly looks as though Trump’s hold on the Republican Party is not as strong as it once was. There’s polling really that can show you almost any conclusion you want,” Mackowiak said on Inside Texas Politics.
He also said that DeSantis has a high national profile as a conservative reformer -- and is probably the strongest competitor to Trump right now.
There’s also talk that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott might run for president. But his name has not been elevated to the point of DeSantis and Trump.
“The governor has not taken the kinds of steps that some of these other candidates have and really put themselves out there… he’s focused on Texas and has a lot he wants to do in this legislative session,” said Mackowiak.
Mackowiak said after the session Abbott might start to do more and try to explore running for president. And he would be a credible candidate if he wants to do it.