Both Trump and Biden aren’t popular with the American people. Can be a big opening for Ron DeSantis:
There’s some good news in Trumpworld: 66 percent of Americans in a recent CNN poll called a Joe Biden reelection victory in 2024 a “disaster, setback” for America. Surely, hearing renowned Trump-hating CNN anchor, Jake Tapper, say those words made former President Donald J. Trump and his supporters swoon.
Yet, the poll in question isn’t all sunshine and roses for the former president.
In fact, the key takeaway is that most Americans are nearly equally unsupportive of either President Joe Biden or former President Trump’s reelection campaigns. In the words of CNN Political Director David Challian: “This is not an election the American people want.”
Although, it should be noted that Trump still leads Biden by ten points among American voters who say they’d view the reelection of Trump as a “triumph.”
To be clear: the percentage of Americans who’d view either Trump or Biden’s possible reelection in 2024 as a “triumph” is below 50 percent. At the same time, the percentage of Americans who viewed Trump’s win as a setback was merely 12 percent compared to Biden’s 24 percent.
Biden and Trump Faces Challenges
As for Biden’s challenges from his Left, within his own party in the 2024 Democratic Party Primary, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the noted anti-vaxxer, has an astonishing 20 percent of Democratic Primary voters supporting him. Marianne Williamson has a meager eight percent. RFK, Jr., is the most serious threat to Biden’s reelection from within the Democratic Party.
The real issue here, though, is one that affects both Trump and Biden. Most Americans do not want to see either of them running for reelection. Both men have remarkably low approval numbers. Trump and Biden are being challenged from within their own parties for the nomination—and those challengers are far more popular than anyone assumed they’d be, too.
The fact of the matter is that the American people are tired of Trump’s grievance-based, rage-filled politics as well as Joe Biden’s weepy, sleepy, and virtue-signaling style of politics.
Voters want something new; they want someone dynamic and different from the two gerontocrats running for president. That is why both Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are polling so well in their respective primaries.
It’s Not Just a Matter of Age
While age is certainly a factor, it’s much deeper than that.
After all, RFK, Jr., is himself an older gentleman whose family is deeply enmeshed in America’s class of political elite. It is his ideas and style of politics that makes RFK, Jr., appealing. At any other point in the Democratic Party’s modern history, going up against an incumbent president, like Joe Biden, and talking about the unique issues that RFK, Jr., likes to talk about, there is no way that he’d be polling in the double-digits.
Similarly, Ron DeSantis, although the most successful Republican executive since Ronald Reagan (even more successful by leagues than Donald Trump’s record as the nation’s chief executive), should be having far more difficulty going against a former president from his own party.
In fact, DeSantis’ only real problem thus far has been the series of unforced, self-inflicted errors that he and his team has made. These can be repaired, though, given how early it still is in the Republican Party Primary season.
Thus, both RFK, Jr., and DeSantis—especially Florida’s governor—have only room to grow as the campaign rolls on.
For both Biden and Trump, though, their brands are locked into place. More Americans do not want to see either of them as president. It is a true tragedy that the egos and moneyed interests behind the two candidates don’t force an end to their most unwanted campaigns. The future is now.
Young candidates, like DeSantis, have a governing record that is incredible, and they represent the future.
Ron DeSantis Needs to Sell the Dream
DeSantis will bring America into the next half of the 21st century, if only he could work on his public persona a bit more. He has a flat affect and is, as one commentator said recently, incapable of “selling the dream” (a sales term for convincing a prospective buyer why they should purchase your product or service).
DeSantis’ dream is the Florida reality. If he could work on his patch—how he could make American like Florida, only without the humidity—he could win handily.
Americans intuitively dislike whiners and navel-gazers. Both Trump and Biden represent the backward-looking, groaning that defines the very old and the very young. Americans love winners and leaders who make them feel like the future is brighter than the past.
DeSantis (and even RFK, Jr.) can represent that brighter future. But, in the case of DeSantis, he has got to work on his delivery to win the hearts-and-minds of the voters. Because Lord knows that neither Trump nor Biden have them.
If DeSantis can make his early campaign adjustments and sell his dream to the country, he’ll crush both Trump and Biden.
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A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.