I keep reading that the Republicans have a DeSantis problem or that Florida has a DeSantis problem, but in Politico I read that DeSantis has a Florida problem. Get this:
In the run-up to the primary, DeSantis solidified his place as Trump’s chief rival for the nomination largely based on an electability argument. He was MAGA, like Trump, but without the former president’s baggage or toxicity to moderate Republicans and independents — the kind of voters Republicans will need to run Joe Biden from the White House next year.
But as DeSantis edges closer to announcing, he is testing the limits of how hard right he can go without undermining his rationale for running in the first place. It’s a significant risk in a primary in which Republican voters — sore from losing the White House in 2020 and a less-than-red-wave midterm two years later — are desperate to nominate a candidate who can win.
“In a way, the Republican dominance of the Florida Legislature may end up hurting DeSantis because his proposals can become reality,” said Barrett Marson, a Republican strategist in Arizona. “That may help him in a primary in Iowa or Texas or South Dakota, but in a general election in Arizona, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin, it could be ruinous for him.”
To restate, DeSantis might be in trouble because the Florida legislature is likely to pass some of his hard-right policy proposals in the next few months, which would be a big screaming warning that as President he would actually do what he promises to do, which would turn off voters. Reflect on that for a bit.
His most recent thing is to call for a ban on abortions past six weeks’ gestation. That by itself should destroy him in a general election for POTUS. How many times must Republicans get beaten up over this issue before they get the memo? Or does DeSantis think he can somehow pivot to a more “moderate” position once he get the nomination? I don’t think so.
A DeSantis spokesperson declined to comment. But a top Republican consultant in Tallahassee, who was granted anonymity to talk freely about DeSantis, said there is a logic behind the governor’s moves.
“The bottom line is that if he decides to run he wants to have the most robust cultural and policy conservative list of accomplishments,” said the consultant. “This makes him impervious to hits from the right.”
Taken to logical conclusions, this seems to be saying that no presidential candidate who can win a Republican nomination has a prayer in a general election. At some point the Republican Party may need to address this.
One New York Republican, granted anonymity to speak freely about the party primary dynamics, said a six-week ban viewed as unpalatably restrictive to some will be considered too weak by some anti-abortion rights purists in the right wing of the GOP.
“This position is so scrutinized that you’ll lose a core constituency in allowing for any abortion at any time,” said the person, who is partial to Trump. “Six weeks sounds like the middle ground that a political operative would advise you to take. Six weeks is not what the Christian right voters will accept. There is a definite bifurcation between political realities and politically paid staffers.”
There is a definite bifurcation between the Republican base and the sense God gave turnips, in other words. See also S.C. Republicans propose bill that could subject women who have abortions to the death penalty. So “pro life” they are.
Speaking of bifurcations, one may be closing between Trump and justice. Dozens of Mar-a-Lago staff, from servers to aides, are subpoenaed in classified documents probe is the latest at CNN. Jack Smith is also pushing to get Evan Corcoran to testify.
And yesterday we learned the Fulton County special grand jury heard testimony we didn’t even know about.
Fulton County investigators have an audio recording of a phone call that former President Donald Trump made to the Georgia House speaker to push for a special session to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in the state, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Fulton County special grand jury, which investigated Trump’s actions in the state after the 2020 election, heard the recording of Trump’s call to David Ralston, according to five of the jurors who spoke anonymously to the AJC. A source confirmed to CNN the existence of the recording, which hasn’t been made public.
Don’t take too long, folks.