He has been savvy in Florida, but he's not yet translating that to a national general election.
Honestly, his strategy so far has been Warren-esque, in the sense that it’s a campaign focused on neurotic journalists and overly-online nerds. Just the right wing neurotic nerds instead of the left wing versions.
(He’s still a better politician than Warren, but Warren also wasn’t always as bad as she is now…it takes a lot of kool aid drinking to get to that point, but DeSantis is on his way)
Overall, I agree with the general thrust, but I think you overstate Crist’s strengths and how swingy Florida is in 2022. In the same election Desantis win by 19, Rubio won by 16 (a more apples to apples comparison). Also, Crist did well against Rick Scott, but he did significantly worse in his house election in 2020 than he did in 2018
There is a metric asston of motivated reasoning for all of these "Is DeSantis already done?" takes. As is often the case, it usually speaks to someone's strengths to have this many enemies. The entire Democratic party is invested in his primary defeat. Trumpists are obviously frightened by him. And so are the pathetic Bulwark neocons that already fled to greener pastures once Trump bulldozed their status. None of these takes actually have any idea what voters think. And an anti-woke, anti-capital, anti-war candidate is the reflection of the new insurgent GOP that can capture a formidable voting block. That's just the truth.
Great read. Is Florida really a swing state?
Color me unimpressed by DeSantis's landslide victory. He won by 19 points; Mike DeWine just won reelection in Ohio by 25 points, and Chris Sununu in New Hampshire by 17 points. Greg Abbott beat richly-financed Beto O'Rourke by 11. Marco Rubio -- no one's idea of a Trump slayer -- just won reelection in Florida by 16 points. DeSantis has won his two gubernatorial races (against weak candidates) by a cumulative 20 points. Jeb Bush won his two races -- when Florida was *much* more of a swing state (see: Bush v. Gore) -- by a cumulative 24 points.
Had DeSantis won reelection narrowly that would have raised serious doubts about him. Winning by a substantial, but not unusual, margin merely means that he dodged a possible bullet and remains a viable presidential candidate.
The last poll I saw had DeSantis up +4 with independents over Biden but it also looks like DeSantis is waning with Republican support in a matchup against Trump. This causes problems for him because he needs to beat Trump before he can get to the general, which means focusing on stuff that appeals to the base. I don't know if DeSantis is "savvy" or not, but he appears to be playing the had he is being dealt based on the operational realities.
This is all very smart - I'm beginning to worry that if Trump wins the primary by attacking De Santis on Medicare and Social Security it will put him in a very strong position vs. Biden.
For my money, the biggest obstacle to DeSantis being elected president remains the likelihood that Trump will torpedo his campaign if he beats Trump for the nomination. I'm not sure how he can solve this problem.
I’m glad to see Josh is at least starting to get over his addiction to copium on DeSantis. Not surprised that these comments and the likes of David Frum (lol) are mainlining it.
Keep telling yourself DeSantis will be easy to beat. He’s definitely beatable, and has definitely made some mistakes in the early game, but clownishly pronouncing ‘flame-outs’ or that he’s ‘Warren-esque’ 20 months before the general election is simply unserious wishful thinking.
Josh, what the hell happened to you this season? How did you not even make the tourney this year?
I somewhat disagree that Crist was a formidable opponent. I think he was seen as a retread and yesterday’s news. Also, Florida doesn’t seem to be much of s swing state at all anymore. Obama barely won there in 2012, and no Democrat has won a statewide election there since.
Another note: I haven’t really listened to DeSantis speak until recently. He doesn’t have a good speaking voice. It’s somewhat nasally. I know that may sound superficial, but it’s those superficial things that matter on a subconscious level in politics.
Not sure I agree.
I voted for him.
He ran in the middle.
Beat a hasty retreat to the left once elected.
I'm very disappointed.
I'm not sure I agree that the GOP has effective lines of attack on gas prices or inflation. In 2022, when inflation was worse, the GOP attacks on inflation did not do much for them.
I do think Democrats need to keep their eye on the ball when it comes to crime but I think Joe Biden is best situated to do this out of nearly any other Democrat on the ballot in 2024.
Josh, I can't believe you are still participating in the polite fiction that Biden is an acceptable candidate to run for President again. He slipped into office solely because of the near universal revulsion to Trump among thinking Americans, the connivance of the MSM allowing him to hide in his basement and judges/legislatures using Covid to stand black letter law on it's head for ballot harvesting purposes. Anyone honest would admit the man was on the precipice of dementia during that campaign, and despite some lucid intervals since, is clearly progressing down that path today. Compound that with the fact he dumped Amy Klobuchar for the inane misfit Kamala, and refuses to acknowledge the mistake, yet no one on the moderate left will admit the emperor has no clothes. You are showing the courage, character, integrity and patriotism of Rence Prebius with your stand on this issue.
Other than being a democrat, what is appealing to a swing voter about Biden.
I mean other than he's not trump or DeSantis
I think this take is very good. Here’s my take: If DeSantis gets past Trump (far from certain), and inflation, gas prices, and the border are still too high and a mess, respectively, Biden will be vulnerable--and will probably get beat. I say that as someone who strongly dislikes DeSantis. I think voters’ intuitions will be that Biden is old and past his prime and just isn’t governing competently. BUT, there is still lots of time for those things to get better, or at least for Biden to stick to the center and show voters he is doing everything he can on those issues, including being willing to work with Republicans. Pounding that message into voters’ brains. I think THAT is his winning strategy.