Red wave? Ha! As many Florida Republicans put it, the national election results for Republicans was much more like Red Tide — smelly, rotten, the stench of dead fish.
Except, that is, in Florida. Voters here decisively declared Florida is no longer a purple battleground state. The Republican victories in Florida were a hurricane-like statement that says the Sunshine State is radiant red.
While we address Florida’s results in the accompanying sidebar, the matter that is more noteworthy now, just to be on record early, is this:
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis should not run for president in 2024.
In fact, he should be insistent — emphatically, to the point of being testy — and continue to say what he said on election night: He was just reelected as governor, and the citizens of Florida expect him to do the job they elected him to do.
Finite. End of story. Quit asking.
The media are going to be obsessed with this topic every day and in every interview for the next 16 months. Likewise, the question of whether he will run will be the topic of endless dinner conversations in Florida and in Republican circles elsewhere for the next year-and-a-half.
Making matters worse, of course, will be Donald Trump and his constant insults. They will be intended to persuade DeSantis not to run, but that strategy also could likely backfire. You know what happens when you are goaded. DeSantis may become so annoyed with Trump that you could see him reaching the point of saying in 2023: “That’s it. I’ve had enough. I’m in, and I’m going to squish that SOB.”
To that point, let’s be blunt: It would make everyone’s life so much better if Trump did not run. Republicans have had enough of the Dark-Side Trump. He should not run. Americans are exasperated with the strife that has persisted for six years, and he didn’t help Republicans in the midterms.
While Trump’s base and Republicans are grateful for all that Trump did from 2016 to 2020 — e.g. great economy, shut the border, began draining the swamp, etc., you can bet the powerball jackpot that the Americans whose votes would be needed for him to win again — moderate Republicans, RINOs and independents — do not want to live through two years of Trump campaigning and four years of his second presidency.
Our prediction: He can’t win again.
And at this moment in time, it is not likely DeSantis could win either. Too much is stacked against him — and any Republican, for that matter.
For one, the election two weeks ago was a repeat of 2020. It showed no shift in voting. What’s more, the Democrat Party has ensured that with the way it altered election counting in so many of the battleground states in 2020, the untrusted, ridiculous, specious methods of vote counting are locked in.
Consider the electoral map, the one that resulted in 85 million votes for Joe Biden. It didn’t change in the 2022 elections.
If the Republicans win a one-vote majority in the House of Representatives, that’s a gain of only six seats from the current split. The Senate is virtually no different. Neither changes the likelihood of how electoral college votes would go.
The website 270towin, for example, shows the electoral college votes changing in 2024 by only three votes. In 2020, Joe Biden garnered 306 electoral college votes to Trump’s 232. (You need 270 to win.) Based on the newest census data that determine congressional districts, 270towin shows a 2024 electoral college map giving the Democratic presidential candidate 303 votes and the Republican 235, a swing of only three votes.
Last week’s results showed it doesn’t matter much that the country is in an economic and social nosedive. Democrats voted Democrat, and the blue states remained blue. You might even argue blue states like New York, Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois, California and Pennsylvania became bluer.
Presumably, in all those states that have seen population out-migration, those leaving the blue states tended to be Republicans. As a result, Michigan went from having a Republican majority in its House and Senate to deep blue — Democrat majorities in both houses and governor’s mansion.
But here’s another factor that would work against DeSantis at the top of the Republican ticket for 2024. The media and Deep State Democrats hate him. The media works almost overtime to paint him as a right-wing extremist. For them, he had the audacity to stand up to the leftist Democrat orthodoxy. He stood up for parents and students; is intolerant of crime; smacked down woke-ism and woke corporatists; is pro-life; against men participating in women’s sports; and favors freedom over servitude.
All that horrifies the left.
Indeed, if the presidential elections were held this year, because of his philosophical convictions, Ron DeSantis would have been unelectable.
And that will be his conundrum and challenge for the next two years — his image and how the American electorate perceives him.
What will he do? Will he do what all ambitious politicians do? Will he stay true to his convictions of his first term — never backing down to the left and woke-ism? Or will he succumb to the disease that inflicts so many politicians? Will he become another phony politician who is more interested in climbing the next step up (e.g. Charlie Crist)? Will he shift to the middle and left to appear more likable, become the phony who is not who he says he is, a la Biden and Obama? Anything for votes?
For Floridians’ sake and his own sake, we hope DeSantis stays true to his words on election night and remains focused on making Florida an even better place to live.
You can argue that it will be in DeSantis’ interest to do this so he can show he is not a one-hit, one-term wonder. So he can show he is not driven by the proverbial outsized ego that lusts the limelight and power.
It would be in his interest to further demonstrate to voters he is steady and consistent; that he puts the people of Florida first; and is a leader who can build coalitions to do what’s right, not just what is politically expedient. It would be in his interest to demonstrate to Americans that limited, conservative governance that emphasizes individual freedom is a far, far better alternative to the elitist, socialist, central government authoritarianism that the Democrats are using to enslave us all.
The way things are going at this moment — with Trump running again and the Democrat vote counting locked in — you can predict another four years of a Democrat president. With the Federal Reserve taking steps to squelch inflation and the likelihood that coming recession will have ended by 2024, whoever runs on the Democrat side (Michelle Obama?) will take credit for an improving economy.
To be sure, DeSantis will find it painstaking to resist the run for president.
But timing is everything. At this moment, and for at least the next nine months, you can predict the time is not right.
Selfishly for Floridians, we hope DeSantis puts aside the presidential hullabaloo and stays focused for the next four years on making and keeping Florida the freest and undisputed outperformer and envy of the United States.