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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

DeSantis Falling, Continued

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.

Josh Dawsey at WP:

“The more he is met by people, the more they are not going to like him,” said [former Florida GOP chair Joe] Gruters, who is also a state senator. “The more he’s out there, the more his numbers go down. It’s not a good long-term scenario for him. I fully expected the downfall of his campaign a long time ago.”


Still, in interviews, Florida Republicans described an aloof governor who believed in “sticks and no carrots,” according to a senior Florida official, and whose idea of negotiating was “my way or the highway,” in the words of another. An insular governor who infrequently talked to some senior members in his own Cabinet, including his top law enforcement officials, or other leading Republicans. A congressman who seemed to avoid any opportunity to make friends with others in the delegation. A politician who rarely tried to connect with donors and supporters and seemed to not enjoy being around crowds or attending events. A governor who sometimes declined to participate in a lot of the customary niceties in politics, such as thank you notes and calls to donors.

“It’s kind of what I expected to see,” Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), whose backing of Trump stung DeSantis according to people close to the governor, said of the DeSantis campaign. He added: “In presidential politics, you have to be able to engage and connect with people. It’s through TV, it’s through interviews, it’s charisma. You know it when you see it … I never felt like it was something the governor would be able to do or accomplish.”

DeSantis hoped to be Trump without the baggage, but he's also Trump without the passion and fun. 

 Benjamin Wallace-Wells at The New Yorker:

Even before its official launch, the campaign and its allies were conducting polls and focus groups to test various anti-Trump messages. Across several months, the source familiar with the campaign said that it consistently struggled to find a message critical of Trump that resonated with rank-and-file Republican voters. Even attaching Trump’s name to an otherwise effective message had a tendency to invert the results, this source said. If a moderator said that the COVID lockdowns destroyed small businesses and facilitated the largest upward wealth transfer in modern American history, seventy per cent of the Republicans surveyed would agree. But, if the moderator said that Trump’s COVID lockdowns destroyed small businesses and facilitated the largest upward wealth transfer in modern American history, the source said, seventy per cent would disagree.