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Monday, April 15, 2024

Vivek: A Rising Star in the GOP?

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The argument I hear ad nauseam as to why people should vote for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over Donald Trump is that he’s more electable in a general election versus Joe Biden than the former president. I’m not sure this is a great argument, as from a quick glance at Real Clear Politics’ polling data, there doesn’t seem to be a clear victor on either side of the Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump or the Joe Biden vs. Ron DeSantis hypothetical general election. I can understand and empathize with the argument of not running Trump against Biden again in 2024, given that he has already lost to Biden in a general election once. However, at the current moment, there is no reason to believe that DeSantis would outperform Joe Biden.

Since DeSantis’ official campaign announcement in 2023, he has failed to gain any momentum in the polls. In fact, he’s been declining. His highest numbers were attained before he even announced, oftentimes rivaling Trump’s own poll numbers. According to the FiveThirtyEight.com Republican Primary polling averages, DeSantis’ numbers peaked at around 40% in January of this year, which was still two points behind Trump at the time. Today, DeSantis’ polling average sits at an abysmal 15%, compared to Trump’s 53%. DeSantis knows that he’s failing too, which led him to fire nearly half of his campaign staff last month.

While DeSantis’ polling numbers have been drastically falling, there’s one candidate who has been rising faster than everyone else in the race: Vivek Ramaswamy. 

For the past month, Ramaswamy has sat around third place in the primary, and on certain occasions, sits above DeSantis at second. This trend is becoming ever more frequent in the polls. 

If your primary argument for voting for DeSantis is that he is more electable than Donald Trump, why not vote for Vivek Ramaswamy instead? Ramaswamy would be 39 years old at the time of the 2024 general election, making him 41 years younger than the current incumbent (assuming he earns the Democratic nomination).

This is why I will likely be voting for Vivek Ramswamy in the Republican National Primary; he is running with a purpose. The latest sound byte that both parties tend to run on is the idea of “you need to vote for me so that the other guy doesn’t win,” and the largest byproduct of that is a lack of strong policy direction for both parties. While this strategy has been effective, given that Donald Trump won because he wasn’t Obama and Hillary Clinton was Barack-by-proxy; and Joe Biden won because he wasn’t Donald Trump, I want to vote for a candidate with a purpose beyond that. 

Ramaswamy’s reason for running is this: “What I saw in this field was a Republican party and a conservative movement that for a long time has been running from something, but I think that now is actually our moment to run to something; to our vision of what it means to be American.” 

The first thing you see when you visit Ramaswamy’s campaign website is a link to his policy vision. Both DeSantis and Trump’s respective websites lack a clear and defined policy section. What further separates Vivek from both Trump and DeSantis in regards to policy is that he tends to explain the “how” of his policy goals as well, stating the legal clauses and presidential powers he would use to achieve them.

Most politically-inclined people understand the idea that good policy can only get you so far. Politicians need the charisma to be able to effectively communicate their ideas to their potential voting base, which fortunately, Vivek has no shortage of. He’s well spoken, witty, and particular with his word choice. For those who are unfamiliar with Ramaswamy, this will become clear after the first Republican primary debate on August 23.

While there’s a long way until the Republican primary hits New York State, I’m a firm believer in Vivek, his platform, and his chances of becoming the 47th president of these United States.