Trump Pushes Ron DeSantis – A recent Florida Atlantic University Political Communication and Public Opinion Research Lab/Mainstreet Research Poll has found that former President Donald J. Trump is leading Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis 50 percent to 30 percent, in his own home state.
Trump is using this poll, coupled with most national polls showing the Florida governor significantly trailing Trump. This could be the end in the eyes of many experts.
Then again, though, we’re at the start, not the end of the campaign season.
Let’s see how the first couple of debates go, shall we?
After all, Ron DeSantis has spent his time building up a great ground game in key battleground states. DeSantis may fizzle like Jeb Bush or Scott Walker did in 2016.
Then again, he might end up coming back. We just don’t know yet.
Anyway, the forty-fifth president spent his time over the last week mocking and publicly impugning his most serious rival to the GOP presidential nominee, DeSantis, by urging the Florida governor to abandon his presidential campaign, which the former president has dubbed a, “hopeless cause”, and to return to his day job of running Florida.
Ron DeSantis Messed Up with Florida Homeowners
Trump then dinged his opponent on what was, frankly, a ridiculous decision by Governor DeSantis to harm Florida homeowners by passing a series of laws that empowered the insurance companies rather than the policyholders.
Specifically, DeSantis’ decision to strip insurance policyholders (like me) of their ability to recover legal fees from the insurance companies after suing them for damages is the most hurtful thing he’s done as governor.
As someone who is still fighting my homeowners insurance company over nearly $100,000 of damage my house sustained from Hurricane Ian—our Southwest Florida town was hit by the harshest side of the Category Four hurricane–DeSantis’ decision really harmed Floridian homeowners like me by making it harder for us to sue willfully negligent insurance companies.
The homeowners insurance rate in Florida is three times the national average and it’s going up in the aftermath of the catastrophic storm that hit the Gulf Coast side of Florida.
What’s more, the insurance companies have gotten increasingly—frighteningly—proficient at bilking their customers out of hard-earned money and then delivering absolutely nowhere near the level of service in the aftermath of a hurricane that they should (I am, of course, generalizing).
So, in that way, Ron DeSantis deserves to be hit mercilessly by Trump and any other GOP candidate vying for the nomination this year for such a boneheaded move as rewarding the insurance industry for having previously supported his campaigns.
Trump Loves Big Pharma
Of course, Trump is one to talk.
Here is a man who fattened up the already obese and gluttonous pharmaceutical companies during COVID-19 as well as empowered an increasingly draconian medical bureaucracy with his friendly policies that gave these organizations more power and wealth and little accountability.
Thus, the problem, dear readers, is not with either Ron DeSantis or Donald Trump. It is with our politicians in general (and if you think these guys are bad just look at Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats are doing right before our eyes).
Allow me to get back to the larger point. And that’s the issue of Ron DeSantis’ electability. The fact of the matter is, despite his failure to hold the homeowners insurance companies accountable in Florida, that DeSantis was the most promising candidate to run for the Republican Party’s nomination since Ronald Reagan.
Ron DeSantis is only human. He’s going to make mistakes. The man will fall prey at times to special interests, just as Donald Trump and every politician, sadly, does.
The question is will it be the majority of his time in office?
No, I don’t believe it will be. Because it hasn’t been how he’s governed Florida thus far, outside of that one serious incident with the insurance companies.
Further, now is the time for DeSantis to make mistakes and work out the kinks in his campaign. Early in the campaign, not in the middle.
Signs of Life in DeSantis’ Campaign
Last week, DeSantis engaged in what the media was describing as a massive shakeup of his key campaign staff after a contentious meeting with disappointed donors. For DeSantis, 2024 is the one shot he has to wrest control of the GOP away from the forty-fifth president and ascend to the White House.
Ron DeSantis is finally shaking up his campaign staff after he allowed some of his team to outsource their social media operation to a group that, unfortunately, included one noted antisemite. That situation is being resolved handily and the campaign appears to have reached a new tempo. The campaign staff fiasco and the insurance stories were his two biggest downsides as a candidate.
The campaign staff was harmful because DeSantis has been billing himself as a more competent Donald Trump; as MAGA 2.0. One of the biggest issues that so many MAGA-types had with Trump—even those who still support him—was Trump’s repeated failure to find competent, loyal personnel.
By not picking the very best campaign staff, even if they were ancillary to his overall effort (they were the most public facing thus far, though), DeSantis was sending the wrong signal that he, too, would make awful personnel choices. He’s fixing that. And DeSantis doesn’t seem to be the guy who makes the same mistake twice.
Trump Doesn’t Like That DeSantis Brings in Money
Ron DeSantis has been given an epic amount of money. And that’s one of Donald Trump’s biggest gripes with DeSantis. The former president is, for lack of a better way of saying this, jealous that DeSantis has raked in the kind of money that he has received.
We know that this is bothering Trump because he has said as much in the press. “DeSanctimonious and his establishment handlers are wasting precious resources to divide our party.” That “precious resources” bit is a direct reference to the gobs of money that donors have been handing over to the Florida governor.
Trump hates when someone is raking in more dough than he is. It’s understandable. Trump is competitive guy. It’s one of the things many like about him. Although, it’s also a tell that things are not so far gone for DeSantis that he should feel defeated.
DeSantis is Starting to Look Better
Without a doubt, the two strongest candidates who appeared at The Blaze Media’s townhall event for all the GOP candidates (Mr. Trump refused to show up) hosted by Tucker Carlson, were the biotech entrepreneur, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Ron DeSantis.
The Republican voters deserve a real primary. People should not write DeSantis off yet.
If this were a football game, we’re barely at the end of the first quarter. Let’s see how the initial GOP debate goes and what happens with all of Trump’s legal woes. We’ve got a long time before anyone should be writing either DeSantis or Trump off.
So, in the meanwhile, just buckle up, grab some popcorn, and enjoy the show!
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.