Next Thursday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) will debate each other. While DeSantis has virtually no chance of becoming the 2024 GOP nominee absent Trump pulling out or otherwise unable to run, Newsom - while he's denied it, is absolutely running a shadow campaign to face Trump in the event Biden is not hte Democratic nominee.
The debate is scheduled for Nov. 30 on Fox News, and will be moderated by Sean Hannity.
As journalist John Seiler notes via the Epoch Times;
Basically, each candidate isn't really debating the other, but auditioning for the nomination in his own party. Any slights or barbs aimed at the other really are aimed to impress voters in the taunter's own party, not win votes among the general electorate. Mr. DeSantis especially is aiming at those in the first crucial states, Iowa with its caucuses on Jan. 15 and New Hampshire with its Jan. 23 primary.
Mr. Newsom, by contrast, has to assume Mr. Biden at least will sail through the first primaries and, after Super Tuesday March 5, garner enough delegates to nab the nomination. Newsom therefore effectively is auditioning before the Democratic National Committee, which would pick a potential Biden replacement. In particular, Mr. Newsom has to show he's far better than his obvious challenger, Vice President Kamala Harris, who generally is not looked on favorably for her verbal gaffes and apparent lack of leadership skills.
At this point, however, we're not sure there's much for DeSantis to audition for, given Trump's widening lead.
Speaking of DeSantis' fall (and Nikki Haley's rise), the head of a super PAC backing the Florida governor announced on Wednesday that he's stepping down.