Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida has become one of the most high-profile governors in the country, with many Republicans viewing him as a potential presidential contender in 2024. But how does he stack up when it comes to his national appeal? In this post, we’ll take a closer look at Gov. DeSantis’ popularity and political base, with a focus on his potential appeal to voters outside of Florida.
Popularity in Florida
Gov. DeSantis’ popularity in Florida is not in doubt. According to recent polls, he enjoys approval ratings in the mid to high 50s, with some surveys showing him above 60%. This is despite his controversial handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has drawn criticism from some public health experts and Democrats. He has also faced criticism for his approach to climate change, gun control, and other hot-button issues.
However, Gov. DeSantis’ popularity in Florida may not necessarily translate to popularity in other parts of the country. Florida is a swing state with a diverse population, and what works there may not necessarily work in other states with different demographics and political leanings.
Appeal to Republicans
Gov. DeSantis’ base of support is primarily Republican. He has been a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump, and many of his policies and positions align with Trump’s agenda. For example, he has taken a hard line on immigration, has been a strong advocate for Second Amendment rights, and has pushed back against what he sees as the overreach of big tech companies.
This appeal to the Republican base may be an advantage for Gov. DeSantis if he decides to run for president. The GOP remains deeply divided over the future of the party and its direction post-Trump. A candidate like Gov. DeSantis, who can rally the Trump base while also appealing to more traditional Republicans, may be well-positioned to win the nomination.
Appeal to Independents and Democrats
While Gov. DeSantis’ base is primarily Republican, he has also shown an ability to win over independents and even some Democrats. In the 2018 gubernatorial election, he won a narrow victory over Democrat Andrew Gillum, despite being outspent and facing a barrage of negative ads. He did so by running a disciplined, data-driven campaign that emphasized his record as a conservative reformer.
Gov. DeSantis’ record on issues like education and criminal justice reform may have appeal to independents and Democrats who are open to new ideas and solutions. He has also shown a willingness to reach across the aisle and work with Democrats on issues like environmental protection and disaster relief.
Gov. DeSantis’ national appeal is a topic of much discussion among political analysts and strategists. While his popularity in Florida is strong, it remains to be seen whether he can expand his base and appeal to voters outside of his home state. His strong support among Republicans is a definite advantage, but he will need to show that he can win over independents and Democrats if he wants to succeed on the national stage. Only time will tell whether Gov. DeSantis has what it takes to become a successful presidential candidate and leader.