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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

DeSantis Falling

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.

 Ed Kilgore at New York:

Ron DeSantis remains the most formidable rival to Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. But it’s been a long, long time since he’s gotten any particularly good news in the polls. A new Emerson College survey shows him dropping into single digits and third place in New Hampshire, behind Chris Christie. In the RealClearPolitics averages of national GOP polls, he’s dropped from 30.1 percent at the end of March to 14.8 percent now. He looks relatively strong in Iowa, where it appears he is making a desperate all-or-nothing stand, but mostly just by comparison. Trump only leads him by 27 points in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, though sparse Iowa polling may disguise a less positive environment for DeSantis.

Polling aside, recent news emanating from the DeSantis campaign has been generally quite bad. He’s had three campaign leadership shakeups, a big round of staff layoffs, and at least one major “reboot” of his message and strategy. Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is still building steam, and its main problem is that too much of his vast financial resources are going into legal costs in connection with indictments that aren’t hurting him at all among Republican voters. Another bad development for DeSantis is that a large field of rivals has remained in the race, spoiling his hopes for a one-on-one battle with the front-runner.

The trajectory of DeSantis 2024 should remind political observers of another recent Republican presidential bid that at this point in 2015 was about to enter a dramatic plunge into premature defeat well before voters voted: Scott Walker.

There are similarities:  Walker was a youngish governor who took on a formidable foe (the public employee unions).  But there are differences:  Walker was a college dropout with limited knowledge of national and international issues.  DeSantis has degrees from Yale and Harvard Law, served in the military and the House.  For all his problems, he knows his stuff.