By Joan Murray

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Even in the midst of a pandemic, politics is in play with plenty to watch here in South Florida.

Former President Donald Trump dominated at this weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference, making it clear he’s not going anywhere.

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“He’s committed to helping us win back majorities in 2022, which is of course what I’m focused on right now,” said Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee. “We are a handful of seats away from taking back the House. We picked up 15 this last election and one seat away from taking back the Senate.”

In Florida, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is up for reelection in 2022, with Rick Scott in 2024.

All of South Florida’s congressional delegation will be on the ballot next year.

“When you bring Trump in, who knows what’s gonna happen because Trump changes everything,” said NSU Professor Charles Zelden.

Zelden said Trump could impact what happens in South Florida.

“If the Republicans bomb in 2022, Trump is out for 2024. If they take the House and the Senate, then that increases the likelihood that Trump can claim credit and can run in 2024,” he said.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Trump supporter, could be a wild card. He surged in the CPAC straw poll for president, taking 43% of the vote when Trump wasn’t on the ballot.

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“This Republican civil war has been canceled. We are not going to look backwards. We are going to go forward,” said Sen. Scott.

Scott and Rubio have also been mentioned as presidential contenders.

“Tens of thousands of Republicans are leaving the party,” said Allen Ellison.

Ellison is one of three Democrats who want Rubio’s seat.

“They’re not going to regain control of the House, nor they’re going to regain control of the Senate,” he said. “They have one major problem and that is when they had the control, none of the policies that they push for had a positive impact.”

But Zelden doesn’t see Rubio being unseated.

“I suspect, all things being equal, Rubio will hold the seat. But it’s a question: Does he get primary? Is it a bloody knife fight of a primary? If it is, that can weaken him, so the Democrat can come in.”

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The next major election is not that far away – only a little more than a year and a half. And after that 2022 race, there will be a clearer idea of where the presidency is going in 2024.