Has DeSantis Peaked Already?

Since the 2022 midterms, there have been some polls that put Ron DeSantis on a par with or ahead of Donald Trump in the contest for the GOP presidential nomination next year. But today there are a bunch of new polls that put Trump way out ahead of DeSantis.

Early commentary so far is saying that Trump’s campaign must be doing something better. I personally suspect that the real reason Trump is looking better than DeSantis to the GOP base is that over the past month or so people have gotten a closer look at DeSantis.

Right after the midterms Republicans were pissed at Trump for screwing up the “red wave.”  After the midterms there was much speculation that DeSantis was the not-Trump conservative Republican who might beat Trump. Probably right-leaning independents and moderate Republicans who were done with Trump considered supporting DeSantis. But the steady drumbeat of stories about DeSantis banning books and now DeSantis assuming creative control of Disney World may have spooked all but the hard core Right. And the hard core Right ain’t quittin’ Trump. DeSantis may have peaked already.

Then yesterday some characters of the hard core Right showed up at a DeSantis book signing, apparently wearing pro-Trump T-shirts, and they were turned away. That’s not going to ingratiate DeSantis with the base, either.

In other news — if you need a good laugh, see ‘The maths are hard’: Marjorie Taylor Greene mocked for not understanding what ‘seized’ means at Alternet. Here is the statement that MTG made —

“I want you to know that in 2020 there were 4,800 pounds of fentanyl seized by CBP. But in 2021, fiscal year 2021, it increased to 11,200 pounds of fentanyl was seized by the CBP. That is a direct result of Biden administration failure policies,” said Greene. “Now here we are in – to date, to date, fiscal, fiscal year 2023 – they have already seized 12,500 pounds of fentanyl. The Biden administration is failing this country by not protecting our border and securing our border, and stopping Chinese fentanyl from being brought into our country illegally by the cartels, and people are dying every single day because of it.”

Yeah, how outrageous is it that the Biden Administration is seizing more drugs at the border than Trump did! Oh, wait …

Also, Matt Gaetz got called out for introducing Chinese propaganda into the congressional record. Watch it here.

9 thoughts on “Has DeSantis Peaked Already?

  1. No one goes to Disneyland to get in touch with reality.  No one votes for DeSantis or Trump who does not wish to live in a fantasy world.  The problem is that one person's dream land is another person's nightmare.  Any dream land either of them would try to create would be a nightmare for most.  America is a diverse country.  The longstanding trend is that it is becoming more and more diverse with time.  To fight that trend is an exercise in futility.  No group is big enough or powerful enough to dominate and impose itself on all groups.  Both the Trump and DeSantis groups think they can.  They are in error.  All either will do is continue to create more discord.  We could do with a lot less of that.   Especially since MTG self-appointed herself as the Goddess of Discord.


    • No group is big enough or powerful enough to dominate and impose itself on all groups.

      That is a lesson yet to be learned by the (unholy) alliance between Evangelicals and Dominionist Catholics.  They still believe that it is their spiritual duty to impose their religious dogma on all Americans.  

      That 35% of the republican voters who are the loudest and most prone to promoting violence won't be stopped until the rest of the party finds the backbone to stop them.  


      • Exactly.  And what nightmare most of us cannot live in they would try to create in the meantime.  

  2. KKKongressKKKritter Marjorie Soylent Greene couldn't spell "IQ" if she was spotted the "I!"

    Her vocabulary spans the gamut from one, all the way to two syllables. 

    Of course, in her congressional district, that passes for a "pubic (sic) intellectual."

    As for Matt Gaetz, maybe if he used Google for something except searching for teen p*rn sites, and checked a source he was citing, he'd have known that "The Global Times" is a "Communist"* Chinese government propaganda rag.


    *BTW: They're not a "Communist" government – at least not per Marx & Engels.  They are an Autocratic Kleptocratic Oligarchy (or whatever particular sequence of those three you prefer).


  3. I've said before (maybe here?) that DeSantis doesn't travel well. I think your analysis is spot on. He's about as personable as a slug.

    I also don't think his latest moves play outside Florida nearly as well as he thinks they will. The Deplorables don't want policy. They want destruction and vengeance on their enemies.

    He has zero

  4. Regarding DeSantis: I live in FL and the culture war is horrific. Now. It's not just sleazy rhetoric. A teacher in FL can be jailed for exposing kids to books not on the "approved" list. DeSantis is trying to lift the liquor license of an establishment that held a drag show. Yeah, there's Disney and the implicit threat to use infrastructure around Disney World as a bludgeon to censor content. He's been very effective.

    The downside for DeSantis is a lack of personality. He doesn't look like he's having as much fun being an asshole as Trump projects.  Perhaps he could emphasize the sadism if he accessorized with leather. 

    You have to look at the calendar to appreciate that DeSantis has to run in 2024. He can't run for a third term as governor in 2024. Term limits. He could run for guv of Fl again in 2028 if he wanted to position for a run for POTUS in 2032. But if DeSantis fails in 2024, he doesn't have a pulpit for years. I think dropping out of sight after a defeat would be devastating to DeSantos' political momentum. So he's going for it in '24 regardless of the polls. 

    DeSantis is the runner-up, the successor to Trump if Trump drops out. It seems very likely Trump will be facing multiple criminal charges and trials at the same time he's running for POTUS. The facts from each of those trials will hurt Trump – the truth will out, as they say, and voters will be paying attention. There's nothing like it in US history to draw from in estimating the effect of criminal trials of a major candidate for POTUS in the polls. No one has to tell me that the cultists won't care, but everyone else WILL care and will see. 

    There is one incident in history to draw from. In the election after Nixon resigned, Republicans lost 43 seats in the House, 3 seats in the Senate, and a bunch of governor's mansions. To speculate, if Trump thinks he could go to jail (and it's not a fun thing to contemplate for a regular person – I know! I can't imagine how terrifying the prospect of prison bars is to Trump.) I think Trump will exit the US rather than risk incarceration if any criminal trial is going badly. The normal affluent person facing the threat would plead guilty with the guarantee of probation – not jail. I do not think Trump can plead his way out. The effect of Trump fleeing the country in disgrace can't be overstated. It will be the defeat at Gettysburg for the Trumpist GOP writ politically, rather than militarily. 

    I speculate shamelessly fully aware I'll frequently be wrong. But I'll prophesy this with confidence – the next two years will not be a 'normal' presidential election cycle played by normal rules. The temptation to apply the standards of all the previous elections in my lifetime is foolish. Whatever it is, it won't be remotely similar to what we've come to expect like the  4-year tide of presidential pageantry. 

  5. Jasper Craven is a free lance reporter covering military and veterans issues. His essay in THE BAFFLER this month, "The Sunshine Imperium (the militarism of Ron Desantis") is a well researched and ominous look at the military and civilian persona of DeSantis. Many of his (DeSantis') actions mirror quite well the antics of Viktor Orban.

    "It may be that he genuinely believes a strongman can run a free world" writes Craven, when dealing with Ron's words to his followers and his actions on everything else.

    Now his followers may think Viktor Orban was the base player for Black Sabbath, but DeSantis will use his bully (Fox, Newsmax, Sean, Swansons bowtie man) pulpit to get air time that will spill over into major news sources and sanitize and polish his  image. I'm looking at YOU, New York Times!

    I think Desantis hasn't peaked yet, but is just beginning his shit. I hope I am wrong. I will be estatic to be wrong. I want to be wrong.



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