DeceMber 1st, 2022 | Thomas Carter

Goodbye Don, Hello Ron

Troubling signs point to GOP losses under a Trump nomination.
Vote in the poll at the end.
Republicans took a majority of the seats in Congress, leaving little room to advance any lies or disinformation about the election being stolen. The “red wave” never materialized, but that was never something I thought was going to happen anyhow. Few polls leading up to the elections showed the red tsunami that many Republicans wanted to see. It was a fabrication and it may have only acted to put fear into Democrat voters. When it was all over, Republicans were left disappointed and most of Donald Trump's high profile endorsements lost. This is why many believe the ex-president has moved from kingmaker to liability.
Mehmet Oz was supposed to win in Pennsylvania. The former seat was held by a Republican and should not have been lost—especially against a poor speaking stroke survivor with nothing substantial on his curriculum vitae. John Fetterman supports every hard progressive policy anyone could think of, which should have turned away most suburban voters across the state, like it has in previous elections.
The Pennsylvania seat won by Fetterman has been occupied by a Republican since 1962.
In other states, Trump candidates performed just as miserably. His candidate for governor of Arizona, Kerri Lake, lost badly and his pick for senate in the state got walloped by Democrat astronaut Mark Kelly. In Michigan, loopy Democrat Gretchen Whitmer beat Trump's pick for governor, Tudor Dixon, by a wide, wide margin. In every important key battleground state Trump needs in 2024, his candidates lost. With the exception of Ohio and North Carolina, a majority of swing states have rejected Trump and his MAGA candidates.
Without Trump as a factor, Republicans would have performed better. In the face of disastrous Democrat policies, there was no reason for Republicans to have lost so badly. The fear and hatred many Americans feel for Trump is a setback for the party and could inflict significant harm in the race for the White House. For every Republican voter Trump inspires, he inspires two frightened Democrats. This is what caused a surge in voter participation in 2020 and it will be what kills the GOP's chances of winning the White House in 2024.
In all of this darkness and mayhem, the brightest shining light for the GOP is Ron DeSantis.
The Florida governor, more recently known to Trump supporters as “Ron Desanctimonious”, flipped the deep blue counties of Miami-Dade and Palm Beach. He went on to win re-election with a decisive and resounding 20% margin over Charlie Crist. Under DeSantis, Democrats have watched Florida (in horror) evolve from a swing state to a deep red bastion for Republicans. In the last two presidential races, Florida has gone to Republicans with overwhelming margins. Many will attribute this to the MAGA movement, but Trump's attacks on DeSantis started as early as last year and have only thrown more wind at the governor's sails. In fact, DeSantis was the most successful Republican to come out of the 2022 mid-terms.
In Florida, DeSantis is an amalgam of MAGA and traditional Republicans. He has been successful at uniting Republican voters with the MAGA brand by showing strong and consistent leadership through disaster and launching smart and devastating attacks on his political opponents. DeSantis has been able to lead Republicans in all the ways Trump has failed.
Through the pandemic, Trump was a blathering mess and his leadership was inconsistent and chaotic. Through hurricane Ian, Desantis was brilliant, diplomatic, smart and bipartisan. He sent consistent messages, declared an emergency, met with Biden and worked out a deal with Elon Musk and SpaceX to provided internet services through Starlink. The contrast between their leadership styles could not have been more obvious.
Ron DeSantis is a smarter and more refined nightmare for Democrats than Donald Trump could ever be.
DeSantis developed his leadership and management skills in the military, where he served in Iraq as a legal advisor for SEAL Team One in 2007. He is still enlisted as a U.S. Navy reservist. DeSantis started his career in politics as a Congressman in 2012, serving in Florida's 6th Congressional District, where he was re-elected two more times. In 2014, DeSantis beat his Democrat opponent 62-37 and in 2016 he won with a margin of 17%. His electoral record following the 2022 mid-terms expands his impeccable roster of victories.
DeSantis is a proven winner, Trump is a proven loser.
Trump was the saviour we all needed in 2016, but his lustre is gone. His single election victory was followed up by a massive, crushing loss and more losses on the endorsement front in 2022. The largest and most glaring problems with Trump's 2016 victory was his lack of favorability and his slim margins of victory in swing states. His unfavorables were only trumped by Hillary Clinton, who happened to be the least favorable Democrat candidate in recent memory. Any observer could have predicted Trump's loss in 2020, merely based on his weak numbers in 2016. Had Democrats chosen a more favorable candidate, Trump would have lost in 2016.
The likelihood of Trump winning the presidency in 2024 is low, but the likelihood of him winning the Republican nomination is high. This is why Republicans and conservatives will be better served to rally behind DeSantis in the next primary season—if the governor decides to run. If he opts out, Republicans will face a certain Trump nomination and a high probability of defeat in 2024. The chances of another candidate beating Trump in the GOP primaries are also very low.
According to a New York Times poll, Trump's total unfavorable numbers are at 57% going into the next presidential campaign. Ron DeSantis scores better with only 39% of voters viewing him unfavorably. Among Zillennials, 55% have a “very unfavorable” view of Trump, while only 24% of the same age group view DeSantis the same way. According to a Harvard/Harris poll, a majority of voters do not want to see a Trump-Biden race in 2024.
Trump fares better against Biden in national polls than DeSantis, but history has proven the power of campaigning and Democrat dirty tricks. Trumps margins against Biden, though, are not much higher than DeSantis, according to RaceToTheWhiteHouse. There, DeSantis trails Biden by 3%, whereas Trump trails Biden by 1%. Ted Cruz fares against Biden similarly with a margin of 39-43.
Against Kamala Harris, Trump wins by a narrow margin, but a DeSantis win is bigger:

Trump: 43.2%
Harris: 42.9%

DeSantis: 41.9%
Harris: 40.7%

In Florida, DeSantis beats Biden by 8% and in Ohio he beats Biden by 7%.
In the key swing state of Pennsylvania, Trump loses to Biden by 1%. In Michigan, Trump loses to Biden by 2%. In Georgia, Trump beats Biden by a safe margin of 4%, but DeSantis loses to Biden by 5%. As more polls come out closer to the date, a more clear picture will emerge of which candidate has the biggest advantage in key battleground states. For the moment, DeSantis is not well known in every part of America, but during a primary challenge, that would change.
On the presidential campaign trail, DeSantis would offer a level of stability and consistency that Trump couldn't compete with. He would pack the same devastating punches, but would run a well oiled and professional campaign similar to what we used to see with Republicans before Trump. Against Biden and his low approval rating, Republicans need a fresh candidate with better favorables to solidify a strong chance of victory. DeSantis would blend MAGA with traditional conservatism in the way Republicans need in 2024.
In the likely event of a Trump nomination, though, Republicans will need to do everything they can to help him win. In any event, America would be better off under Donald Trump than Joe Biden.
December 2022


november 2022