Is Ron DeSantis’ campaign finished?: The Florida governor, seen at the beginning of the campaign as the most potent challenger to Donald Trump on the Republican side, has had a sluggish campaign and has struggled to gain momentum. Can he rebound, or is it too late?
What Is Up with Ron DeSantis?
“Rumors are strong in political circles that Ron DeSanctimonious, whose Presidential run is a shambles, and whose poll numbers have absolutely crashed, putting him 3rd and 4th in some states, will be dropping out of the Presidential race in order to run, in Florida, against Rick Scott for Senate. Now that’s an interesting one, isn’t it?,” the former president said.
That rumor did not appear to have reached the press before Trump floated it, although by now it certainly has. But whether or not DeSantis stays in the presidential race long-term, there are numerous indications that his bid for the presidency has not gone as planned.
DeSantis likely needed a big moment in the first debate last week, or a consensus that he had won, and neither of those things happened. And post-debate polling indicates that DeSantis received no bounce from that debate and remains distantly in second place. Beyond that, over the weekend, DeSantis was booed when he appeared in Jacksonville at a vigil for the victims of the racially motivated shooting on Saturday in that city. Those who appeared at the rally shouted “Your policies caused this” and “You’re not welcome here.”
According to Reuters, which cited the Reuters/Ipsos poll, while “half of Republican respondents who followed the party’s first debate on Wednesday were more open to DeSantis’ bid,” DeSantis remains way behind Trump in the race.
That poll has Trump with 52 percent support in the Republican contest, with DeSantis in second place with just 13 percent. Mike Pence has 6 percent support, Vivek Ramaswamy has 5 percent support, while 4 percent are backing Nikki Haley.
In the first post-debate edition of the Morning Consult tracking poll, released last Friday, Trump continues to lead with 58 percent support among Republican voters. DeSantis is in second with 14 percent, just slightly ahead of Ramaswamy’s 11 percent. Pence has 6 percent, Chris Christie 4 percent, and Haley and Tim Scott 3 percent each. Ramaswamy has overtaken DeSantis, however, on the metric of net favorability rating. Both Trump and DeSantis remain behind President Biden in
“The Aug. 23 Republican primary debate did nothing to immediately change the state of the contest,” Morning Consult said in their poll release. “Former President Donald Trump’s support went unchanged after he skipped the matchup: He remains backed by 58% of the party’s potential electorate — maintaining his 44-percentage-point lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie each saw their support increase by 1 point.”
Meanwhile, over the weekend, Politico released its latest Republican presidential candidate tracker, and it downgraded DeSantis from “frontrunner” to “contender,” a status he shares with Christie, Haley, Pence, Ramaswamy, and Scott.
“Polling isn’t the only way to measure the increasing distance between Trump and DeSantis over the past five months. Since jumping into the race in May, DeSantis’ campaign has been forced to scale back its ambitious plans because of slower-than-expected fundraising, almost immediately laying off staffers who’d just started and farming out some campaign activities to the chief super PAC supporting his candidacy, Never Back Down,” Politico said.
The race clearly isn’t over, and DeSantis raised a tremendous amount of money. The voting doesn’t start for nearly five more months. But clearly, DeSantis likely needs a reset — another one — in order to seriously compete for the Republican presidential nomination.
Author Expertise and Experience:
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.