Ron DeSantis to launch 2024 presidential exploratory committee next month: Report

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to take further steps towards launching a 2024 campaign for the White House next month, according to a Wednesday report by NBC News.

The report cites four unnamed Republican operatives it said are familiar with the conversations about plans for DeSantis to launch a presidential exploratory committee, with an official launch of his campaign to come at a later time.

Each of the operatives told NBC that a mid-May launch of the committee was the target, but that a number of his supporters wanted him to declare his candidacy by May 11 in order to counter former President Donald Trump's front-runner status for the Republican nomination.

Others close to the governor, the report said, have argued such an early date would be too soon.

DeSantis has long been mulling a run for the White House, but has remained tight-lipped over whether he would actually toss his hat into the 2024 fray. Polls have consistently showed him as the runner-up to Trump, while many Republicans have argued he is the best alternative to the former president, who they see as unable to win a national race.

There are currently five presidential hopefuls vying for the Republican nomination in addition to Trump, including businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, businessman Perry Johnson and former California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., announced the formation of his exploratory committee earlier this month, and a number of other Republicans are also reportedly considering a run. These include former Vice President Mike Pence, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, South Dakota Gov. Christie Noem, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

President Biden announced earlier this week that he would seek a second term as president, but is being challenged for the Democratic nomination by environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and self-help author and spiritual guru Marianne Williamson.

Fox News Digital reached out to DeSantis' team to confirm the report, but did not immediately receive a response.