Florida Republicans have abandoned the loyalty pledge to the future nominee for the presidency.
Multiple outlets reported that the Republican Party of Florida decided on Friday to revoke a rule that was previously implemented this year. This rule mandated that all potential candidates for the 2024 presidential election must pledge their support to the eventual nominee in order to be included on the primary ballots in the state on March 19.
Former President Donald Trump, who has adamantly declined to sign any such pledge, is seen as the beneficiary of this decision, while Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, his main competitor, is regarded as the one who suffered a setback since he has already signed it.
The challenge of consolidating Republican voters behind a single candidate in the 2024 election has brought loyalty pledges to the forefront amidst internal conflicts within the Republican Party.
Republican leaders at the national level have advocated for the pledge, which was a requirement for candidates to sign in order to participate in the initial Republican primary debate in Milwaukee last month. (Trump declined to sign the pledge and also chose not to engage in the debate, thus avoiding the matter altogether.)
CNN reported that the Florida GOP discreetly introduced a loyalty pledge in May, which was perceived as a strategy to support DeSantis.
Behind the scenes, however, Trump allies have reportedly been lobbying the party’s chapter in Florida — Trump’s home state — to ditch the pledge.
According to Politico, during Friday’s meeting, supporters of Trump within the Florida GOP expressed their belief that there would be chaos if the pledge was not eliminated. One individual stated that the Republican Party of Florida would no longer exist.
Another said: “People will be pissed if we keep Trump off the ballot.”