Ron DeSantis’ victory in his bid for re-election as governor of Florida strengthens his case to run for president in 2024. The person most concerned by Donald Trump’s increasing notoriety is him.
In the pivotal midterm elections in the United States, Ron DeSantis triumphed handily, winning a second term as governor of Florida and establishing himself as a serious contender for the presidency in 2024.
While elections in the majority of US states were close, the Republican governor was able to defeat Charlie Crist, a Democrat, by a margin of 59% to 40%. DeSantis pledged during his victory speech that he would never “surrender to the woke mob.” DeSantis, who has been dubbed “Trump 2.0” for his unwavering stance on abortion and LGBTQ+ rights, has been called “Trump 2.0.” “Florida is where awake goes to die,” he declared. DeSantis, however, is adamant that he won’t run for office in 2024.
Ironically, it’s former US President Donald Trump who is most concerned about DeSantis’ increasing support. For a number of months, the two leaders have been at odds and have frequently traded public jabs. After DeSantis’ significant victory in Florida, Trump threatened to expose damaging information about DeSantis if he decided to mainly challenge him for the Republican nomination.
Who is Ron DeSantis, exactly?
The 44-year-old was first elected to the House of Representatives in that year. He was elected governor in 2018, which was six years later.
Identifying himself as a “blue-collar native Floridian,” DeSantis At Yale University, where he graduated with honors, he served as the team’s captain. He eventually applied to Harvard Law School. While attending Harvard, he became a JAG officer in the US Navy’s legal division. He was honorably discharged from the great military in 2010.
Before running in the 2012 election for Florida’s Sixth Congressional District, DeSantis later worked as a federal prosecutor. DeSantis ran a campaign early in his political career that was primarily concerned with “small government” and lower taxes. He also vehemently opposed the programs of the late president Barack Obama.
He had the backing of several well-known Republican leaders when he announced his candidacy for governor in 2018, including the incumbent president, Donald Trump. In fact, it was obvious that Trump had influenced his campaign because in one of his commercials, the candidate tells his children to “build the wall” while they play with blocks and uses a “Make America Great” sign to demonstrate how to read.
What makes Ron DeSantis so popular?
Four years ago, DeSantis won his first election with a margin of victory of less than 0.5 percentage points. Since then, his standing has only risen. He is favored by hard-right conservatives due to his policies.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, he really got people talking. In April 2020, he enacted a total lockdown, built hundreds of testing facilities, and encouraged people to cover their faces in public. But despite an increase in cases across the country, he started loosening regulations and reopening schools within a month. He also began to object to the laws requiring vaccinations and wearing masks. He asserted that Vice President Joe Biden had established a “biomedical security state.”
His other area of interest was matters related to cultural wars. He approved the “Don’t Say Gay” law, which forbade conversations about gender identity or sexual orientation in Florida’s elementary schools, in March. He signed a bill outlawing elective abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which was roundly criticized by his opponents as barbaric and callous, after the main US Supreme Court struck down the right to an abortion a month later.
Most recently, he was accused of “weaponizing” migrants when he arranged for a group of asylum seekers, the majority of whom were from Venezuela, to be flown from Texas to the wealthy island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. The migrants sued DeSantis and other state officials, claiming they were complicit in a “fraudulent and discriminatory scheme.”
Unexpectedly, despite the Martha’s Vineyard debacle, the Republican incumbent was able to win the Latino vote in Florida, according to a CBS News exit poll. His support for Florida Republicans among Hispanics has significantly changed over the past few years, as evidenced by the close to 60% of the Latino vote he received.
Why are Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis at odds with one another?
DeSantis is widely regarded as the Republican Party’s top choice to run for president in 2024. Trump, who is about to mainly announce his candidacy for president, is worried about the threat posed by his growing notoriety. Trump has stated that he will make “a huge announcement” on November 15.
At a rally earlier this month, the former US president gave the governor of Florida a new nickname: “Ron DeSanctimonious.”
The overwhelming victory of DeSantis in Florida comes after a number of Trump-backed candidates suffered defeats in the midterm elections.
Trump still has the support of the majority of Republicans, despite the fact that DeSantis is very popular. Five Thirty Eight, a company that analyzes polling data, reports that as of November 4 Trump had a lead over DeSantis of more than 20 points in two different polls.
After a convincing victory, Ron DeSantis’ political career gains momentum.
Governor Ron DeSantis consistently focused his reelection campaign on the President Joe Biden rather than his Democratic opponent in Florida.
Governor Ron DeSantis consistently focused his reelection campaign on the President Joe Biden rather than his Democratic opponent in Florida. On Tuesday, DeSantis easily defeated the Democrats, but it really felt more like a win over the outgoing president Donald Trump.
While candidates backed or hand-picked by Trump struggled nationally, Republicans in the state were still in awe of DeSantis’ stunning victory over former Rep. Charlie Crist on Wednesday.
State senator Joe Gruters of Sarasota, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, said, “We had probably the best night you could have ever asked for.”
Florida was one of the party’s brightest spots in a national midterm election with decidedly mixed results, thanks to DeSantis’ commanding campaign, the party’s relentless voter registration and turnout efforts there, and the Democrats’ complete collapse in a state where they failed to effectively compete at all, causing it to turn solidly red.
No Republican who won statewide elections, including DeSantis, failed to mention how much they outperformed many of Trump’s top picks in other regions of the country. However, it was clear that they had won by wide margins. In a state where Republicans and Democrats had alternated control for 20 years, Trump’s 3.3 percentage point lead over Biden in Florida in 2020 appeared sufficient.
With every Republican candidate for statewide office winning on Tuesday by a margin of at least 16 points, there is little doubt that Florida is Republican country and that DeSantis’ political career has gotten a boost.
Two additional years!
Some of his supporters chanted during his victory celebration on Tuesday in Tampa, implying that he might run for president in 2024.
Instead of trying to stop them from speculating, he appeared to encourage it by making remarks that were similar to the opening of a campaign stump speech.
DeSantis asserted that Florida was moving in the right direction while the rest of the nation was failing as a result of Washington’s incapacity to provide effective leadership.
Given that he is the center of attention right now, DeSantis might experience intense scrutiny for the first time from the right. Trump, for example, previously threatened to make damaging revelations about DeSantis if he were to certainly challenge him in a Republican primary.
Trump noted on his main social media platform Truth Social on Wednesday that he received roughly 1 million more votes in Florida in 2020 than DeSantis did on Tuesday, despite failing to mention that turnout is typically higher in presidential elections.
There will be a lot of external pressure on DeSantis politically now, predicts Republican strategist Brett Doster, who has advised former Utah senator Mitt Romney, former governors Jeb Bush and George W. Bush, as well as DeSantis. Ron DeSantis is currently thinking, “OK, I’ve got to get back to governing immediately.
Any serious student of politics knows that the best path to good politics is through effective governance, added Doster.
During his victory speech at the Tampa Convention Center, which was packed with stylishly dressed Republicans who looked more like the political establishment than the MAGA warriors at rallies, DeSantis pledged to continue pursuing the forceful culture war policies that have proven popular with Republican and some independent voters.
With a supermajority in both houses of the Florida Legislature, Republicans may try to lift most of the restrictions on carrying concealed weapons. They could alter a law that was passed this year that has prohibited abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. It is possible to include older students in the Parental Rights in Education Act, which forbids the teaching of gender identity and sexual orientation to children from kindergarten through third grade.
DeSantis has expressed a desire to alter libel laws in an effort to weaken the very First Amendment protections for the news media. And he pledged on Tuesday to continue combating “woke ideology” in workplaces, schools, and other places.
According to Christopher Rufo, a conservative activist who advised DeSantis on the Stop WOKE Act, which limits the racism and such other issues can be taught in schools and workplaces, the governor “has now proven that the culture war is good policy and also good politics.”
The governor, according to Rufo, was “the most outspoken on the critical race theory then radical gender ideology, and a host of other contentious issues.”
And the electorate gave him honor. This, in my opinion, disproves the idea that Republicans should refrain from discussing these issues. In fact, the evidence seems to indicate that they should be leaning in.
Andrew Gillum, a former mayor of Tallahassee, was narrowly defeated by DeSantis in the 2018 governor’s race, but DeSantis did not immediately begin to lead like a cherished national conservative icon.
He didn’t begin down that path until the coronavirus pandemic caused him to start doubting public health recommendations and betting on a more laissez-faire approach that helped many Floridians maintain a sense of normalcy. More than 82,000 Floridians have died from the coronavirus since the pandemic began.
Ron DeSantis “started to really become the main figure he is today because of Covid,” claims Jared E. Moskowitz, a Democrat who won a congressional seat on Tuesday after serving as DeSantis’ emergency management director up until last year. Democrats pushed the notion that he performed poorly. You didn’t win by 19 points because you did a most terrible job.
People are buying what he is selling, said Moskowitz. The fact that it is true and is happening doesn’t change the fact that Democrats may find that politically unfavorable.
Republicans, who up until last year had fewer people registered to vote, spent DeSantis’ first term registering so many new people that they now have more registered voters than Democrats by over 300,000. Democrats were not aided by this.
Democrats, meanwhile, made insufficient investments in the staff, offices, and other materials needed to reach voters in a sizable, expensive state. They persisted in outsourcing crucial party functions to outside companies, like voter registration, whose effectiveness some Democrats have started to seriously doubt.
Former President Barack Obama’s campaign left the state with “all of the infrastructure that existed,” according to Democratic strategist Steve Schale, who helped Obama win Florida twice.
As a result of Tuesday’s election results, no Democrats will hold any statewide offices for the first time since Reconstruction. The Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida urged Manny Diaz, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, to resign on Wednesday.
Diaz had previously assured some party members that he had no intention of stepping down from his position. On Wednesday, Diaz did not respond to a request for comment. He released a memo on Tuesday showing how the state has been neglected by national Democrats this cycle, with less than $1.4 million being spent there compared to more than $58 million in 2018.
Because fewer Democrats cast ballots this year than in 2018, the overall voter turnout dropped from 63% to about 53%. The support of Hispanic voters helped DeSantis win solidly Democratic and Democratic-leaning counties with sizable Puerto Rican populations like Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Osceola. Only five of the 67 counties in the state, including Pinellas, where he resides, were won by Crist, his rival.
DeSantis mentioned in passing on Tuesday that he needed about 1.5 million votes to win reelection after winning by a margin of just over 32,000 votes four years earlier.
He said, “We laid out a vision. We succeeded in implementing that vision and getting exceptional outcomes.