Search This Blog

Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Friday, August 18, 2023

DeSantis Debate Memo

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The early stages of the 2024 race have begun.

DeSantis is doing very very poorly.

Jonathan Swan, Shane Goldmacher and Maggie Haberman at NYT:
Ron DeSantis needs “to take a sledgehammer” to Vivek Ramaswamy, the political newcomer who is rising in the polls. He should “defend Donald Trump” when Chris Christie inevitably attacks the former president. And he needs to “attack Joe Biden and the media” no less than three to five times.

A firm associated with the super PAC that has effectively taken over Mr. DeSantis’s presidential campaign posted online hundreds of pages of blunt advice, research memos and internal polling in early nominating states to guide the Florida governor ahead of the high-stakes Republican presidential debate next Wednesday in Milwaukee.

The trove of documents provides an extraordinary glimpse into the thinking of the DeSantis operation about a debate the candidate’s advisers see as crucial.


The documents were posted this week on the website of Axiom Strategies, the company owned by Jeff Roe, the chief strategist of Mr. DeSantis’s super PAC, Never Back Down.

The New York Times was alerted to the existence of the documents by a person not connected to the DeSantis campaign or the super PAC. After The Times reached out to Never Back Down for comment on Thursday, the group removed from the website a key memo summarizing the suggested strategy for the debate. By Thursday night, all the other documents that were posted had been taken down.

Super PACs are barred by law from strategizing in private with political campaigns. To avoid running afoul of those rules, it is not unusual for the outside groups to post polling documents in the open, albeit in an obscure corner of the internet where insiders know to look.

Notably missing from the debate materials is a document focused on Mr. Trump, who has been attacking Mr. DeSantis mercilessly for months. The former president, who has said he is unlikely to participate in the debate, is also not among the candidates whose previous attacks against Mr. DeSantis were highlighted by the super PAC, in a preview of what he might expect onstage. The main strategy memo for the debate contains no mention of policy — and the advice steers Mr. DeSantis away from talking about specific solutions because doing so won’t get him headlines.