The Florida Republicans have decided to eliminate the loyalty pledge towards the future nominee for the presidency.
Multiple outlets reported that the Republican Party of Florida made a decision on Friday to discard a rule that was previously established this year. This rule mandated that all potential candidates for the 2024 presidential election must commit to supporting the eventual nominee in order to be included on the primary ballots on March 19 in the state.
Former President Donald Trump’s refusal to sign the pledge is seen as a victory for him, while Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ decision to sign it is considered a defeat for him.
The challenge of consolidating Republican voters behind a single candidate in 2024 has brought loyalty pledges to the forefront as a concern amidst the ongoing infighting within the Republican Party.
At the national level, Republican leaders have pushed for the pledge. Candidates were told they had to sign if they wanted to appear in the first Republican primary debate held in Milwaukee last month. (Trump refused to sign, but he also refused to debate, thereby skirting the issue.)
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 in 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.
Someone else stated: “There will be anger if we prevent Trump from being included on the ballot.”