Trump-DeSantis 2024 ticket a likely no go? Problem isn't their feud. It's U.S. Constitution.
Polls show Trump and DeSantis remain the most popular White House suitors among GOP primary voters. It's why many in the MAGA universe have long-held hope the two Florida GOPers would run as a team.
The nastiness isn't the only reason a 2024 Republican ticket with Florida men Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis looks unlikely. There's also the U.S. Constitution. Or, specifically the 12th Amendment.
We'll get to that in a minute.
The Trump-DeSantis rivalry has gotten particularly ugly over the past six months, what with Trump slinging nicknames and airing pointed attack ads aimed at everything from the governor's congressional voting record to his disloyalty to his reported pudding-eating habits. And all that was before DeSantis even became a declared candidate, which he did Wednesday night.
Nonetheless, polls show the former president and Florida's governor remain the most popular White House suitors among GOP primary voters — by far. It's why many in the MAGA universe have long-held hope that the two Florida GOP favorite sons would run as a ticket next year.
➤Read The Palm Beach Post story on how the Trump-DeSantis presidential rivalry has turned bitingly personal.
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Some GOPers think Trump-DeSantis would make an unbeatable duo
Surveys of Republican primary voters show Trump with widening, double-digit percentage leads over his erstwhile ally. But those polls often also show DeSantis with double-digit percentage leads over other candidates, such as former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and current South Carolina U.S. Sen. Tim Scott.
That's why a Trump-DeSantis ticket has been so appealing to GOPers over the past couple of years.
In November, for example, even as the Trump-DeSantis feud was going public, attendees at GOP rallies, such as Debbie Macchia at a Boynton Beach event, dismissed the tension as "all political" and insisted the two men would make an unbeatable duo.
"The whole country will go red," Macchia said confidently. "I think Trump is going to put him on the ticket with him."
Even Trump adviser and political strategist Roger Stone, among DeSantis' harshest critics within the MAGA universe, recently stopped short of saying bridges have been completely torched.
"Trump has a long history of reconciling with people that he breaks with," Stone said. "So, it's impossible to say what the future might hold."
However, on May 19, Trump posted DeSantis has "ZERO chance" of winning and, ominously, that "MAGA will never forget!"
Then there's the 12th Amendment.
12th Amendment sort of bans presidential and VP candidates from same state
The amendment, titled “Electing the President and Vice President,” says this in regard to the presidential and vice presidential candidates on a ticket: "one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves."
Kevin Wagner, professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, said the amendment doesn't exactly bar candidates from the same state from being on the same ticket. But there is a very significant "limitation" — they essentially would forfeit the electoral votes from that state. Florida may not be a swing state anymore, but it's a major electoral vote prize with 30 crucial ballots.
You can read the explanation FAU's Kevin Wagner wrote for The Palm Beach Post here.
The Civics Project:No prohibition against President, VP candidates from the same state
The Bush-Cheney ticket in 2000 could have been problematic ...
The last time the 219-year-old amendment was applied was the infamous presidential election of 2000.
By the summer of that year, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, who was running for president, wanted fellow Texan Richard "Dick" Cheney to be his vice presidential candidate. But Cheney, who was chairman and CEO of the Halliburton conglomerate, was a fellow Lone Star resident.
However, Cheney also owned property in Wyoming and boasted significant ties to the state. Prior to the Halliburton gig, Cheney was a member of the House from Wyoming, serving five terms from 1979 to 1989.
All of that gave Cheney a legitimate reason to quickly change his residency status from Texas to Wyoming before that year's presidential election. The Bush-Cheney ticket won the election, which dragged on for a month as officials counted ballots (with some hanging, some dangling chads) that ultimately gave Republicans a 537-vote margin. The duo was re-elected in 2004. Manual recounts were done in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, Broward and Volusia counties.
Trump, of course, could follow a similar course and change his residency back to New York. He officially listed Florida as his main residence in 2019.
So says U.S. Constitution:A second Trump administration would be limited to one term
But New York also is where his company was found guilty of fraud last year, where he has been criminally charged in a case related to hush money payment to a porn star and where a jury found him liable of sexually assaulting and defaming journalist E. Jean Carroll.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has had unkind things to say about officials in his ex-home state, as well as the status of things in New York overall. After the verdict in the sex assault case, Trump called New York "the worst place in the U.S. for me to get a 'fair trial.'"
Constitution would also limit Trump to a single term should he win in 2024
While we are focused on the country's law of the land, we should also note the 22nd Amendment would bar Trump from running for re-election in 2028 if he were to win next year.
"No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once," the amendment flatly states.
Antonio Fins is a politics and business editor at The Palm Beach Post, part of the USA TODAY Florida Network. You can reach him at email@example.com. Help support our journalism. Subscribe today.