DeSantis Declares Presidential Bid With Musk On Twitter Spaces: Social Media Becomes Pivotal In 2024 Election

Zinger Key Points
  • Twitter is being utilized by candidates ahead of the 2024 election.
  • With the young people vote a potential turning point, social media could play a large role in the next presidential election.

After a record turnout for the 2020 presidential elections, candidates running for the nation's highest office in 2024 may have to step up their game to reach new audiences and new potential voters inside and outside their political party.

Enter the new voter outreach tool: social media.

What Happened: After months of speculation, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis formally announced his bid for the 2024 U.S. presidential election. DeSantis submitted his candidacy papers on Wednesday, making his initial declaration on the social media platform, Twitter.

Technical difficulties marred the announcement, causing delays and interruptions in the Twitter Spaces event between DeSantis and Twitter CEO Elon Musk, which became one of the key points of discussion among spectators.

The overlying theme was that Twitter can be the home to accomplish political events and speeches from candidates ahead of the 2024 election.

“There are so many people in the Twitter Spaces with Musk/DeSantis that we’re melting the servers,” entrepreneur David Sacks said.

Around 700,000 listeners were trying to tune into the Twitter Spaces at the time of its delay. Entrepreneur Jason Calacanis shared that there were 1.7 million people that tuned in to the Spaces over the first several hours. That figure is now at 3.3 million at the time of writing.

Sacks moderated the Spaces with DeSantis, where the presidential candidate criticized President Joe Biden’s economic policies and border control.

“We will shut down the border, construct a border wall and hold the drug cartels accountable,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis praised the commitment to freedom of speech on Twitter since Musk took control.

“The truth was censored repeatedly. And now that Twitter is in the hands of a free speech advocate, that would not be able to happen again on this Twitter platform.”

Musk told listeners that Twitter is committed to freedom of speech and a “level playing field” for debates.

“Hopefully this can be a platform that brings people of divergent political views to exchange those views,” Musk said.

Some criticized the use of social media when an appearance on a broadcast media outlet could have generated millions of viewers with less potential for technical difficulties.

President Biden drew attention to the technical glitches, tweeting a link to his campaign donation website and saying that the link worked just fine.

Presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Jr, a Democrat, also utilized Twitter and Twitter Spaces to announce his campaign for the 2024 election.

While Vivek Ramaswamy, running for the GOP presidential nomination, has appeared in several Twitter Spaces over the last several months, sharing his takes on topics like the regional bank collapses and the indictment of former President Donald Trump.

Twitter could play an important role ahead of the 2024 election, with Musk saying he is open to hosting any presidential candidates on the platform, including President Biden.

After the news came out that DeSantis would be featured with Musk in a Twitter Spaces, some users asked Musk if he would also host Biden to balance things out.

“Happy to do it,” was the response from Musk.

Musk, an outspoken advocate for free speech, has expressed his intention to bring a balanced perspective to Twitter, representing both sides of the political aisle.

Twitter is not the only social media platform being utilized by presidential candidates.

Free speech video platform Rumble RUM announced a partnership with the Republican National Committee to be the exclusive streaming home of the GOP's first presidential debate in August 2023. The debate will also be broadcast on Fox News and other TV outlets.


Kennedy made an appearance on the business-themed All-In Podcast, which features Sacks, Calacanis, Chamath Palihapitiya and David Friedberg. The episode of the All-In Podcast with Kennedy has over 480,000 views on YouTube, ranking as the second most-watched episode of the show on YouTube. The only show with more views for the quartet on YouTube is an interview with Musk.

Related Link: 2024 Election Betting Odds Prior To Ron DeSantis Announcing Candidacy 

Why It’s Important: History has shown that the use of media and certain interviews or key events as having the power to sway voters and win an election.

One of the most memorable examples is the appearance by Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton on “The Arsenio Hall Show” in 1992. Facing a campaign against incumbent George H.W. Bush and independent candidate Ross Perot, Clinton and his party were looking for something different to get the candidate in front of more people.

“We realized that people needed to know more about Bill Clinton. So I had written a memo saying we ought to do these kinds of softer talk shows,” Clinton media adviser Mandy Grunwald said.

Clinton senior strategist Paul Begala recalls Hall criticizing Clinton’s choice of tie, and also provided the future president with a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses to wear.

Clinton was asked questions that sometimes were controversial, something Clinton said he appreciated years later.

“That’s one of the more substantive interviews I’ve done,” Clinton said years later.

Clinton played his saxophone with renditions of “God Bless The Child” and “Heartbreak Hotel.”

The appearance on “The Arsenio Hall Show” has been considered by many as the pivotal moment for Clinton and a move that helped him win with younger voters.

There’s also the 1960 election between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. The election made history with the first-ever televised presidential debates. The two had debated before, with radio being the medium used.

Many people thought Nixon did the better job in the debate on radio, but it was Kennedy who came away as the victor for many after the television debate. Kennedy ultimately won the 1960 presidential election.

Another non-presidential example was actor Arnold Schwarzenegger announcing his planned run for governor of the state of California. The announcement was shared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” in a 2003 episode. With his massive reach, the actor could have made the announcement anywhere, but he chose to use a popular late-night show to make the announcement. Schwarzenegger won the election.

The 2020 U.S. presidential election saw a record voter turnout of 66.8%. Despite the overall high participation, the youngest voting demographic, aged 18 to 24, displayed the lowest percentage of turnout, clocking in at 51.4%.

With the younger vote expected to play a major role in the upcoming 2024 election, social media could become a bigger source of interviews and debates.

Read Next: Donald Trump Has A 43 Point Lead Over DeSantis In Latest Poll 

Photo: Shutterstock

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Posted In: Social MediaPoliticsGeneral2024 electionArnold SchwarzeneggerBill ClintonDavid SacksDonald TrumpelectionsElon MuskJason CalacanisJoe BidenRobert Kennedy JrRon DeSantisSocial Media PlatformstwitterTwitter SpacesVivek Ramaswamy
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