DeSantis May Not Be Topping the Polls (Yet), But Floridians Are Enjoying a Lot of Winning

AP Photo/Ron Johnson

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to enter the presidential race this week, ending months of speculation about his future plans.

For reasons perhaps known only to him, former President Trump has decided to let DeSantis live rent-free in his head, spending hours and hours on social media attacking the Florida governor while virtually ignoring the real enemy—Joe Biden. (If you don’t believe me, go check out Trump’s Truth Social account. Where is the criticism of the Biden administration?)


And it’s not just social media. Trump’s Super PAC is spending an unprecedented amount of money on attacking DeSantis and not Biden.

Don’t miss that last bit: Trump’s SuperPAC dropped “$2.8M on attack ads, bringing their anti-DeSantis spend to $15.3M and blowing past the $15M MAGA, Inc. spent on all 2022 midterm races.” [Emphasis added]

In other words, Trump has spent more money attacking a fellow Republican than he did trying to win back a Senate majority for the Republicans. Joe Biden’s agenda would be completely crippled right now if not for Republican losses in the midterms. And while it’s impossible to know whether more money from Trump’s SuperPAC would have secured those seats, money sure doesn’t hurt in close races. It sure didn’t help that Trump endorsed some real clunkers in the 2022 primaries (Mehmet Oz, anyone?).

Related: Disney Cancels $1 Billion Project in Florida, but Not for the Reason the Media Wants You to Believe

But despite Trump’s unprecedented spending against a candidate who has not even entered the race yet, DeSantis keeps stacking up legislative wins in the Sunshine State. Here are just a few, courtesy of the AP:


On Friday, more than four years later, DeSantis concluded a legislative session that establishes him as perhaps the most aggressive and accomplished conservative governor in the nation’s bitter culture wars — just as he prepares to enter the 2024 presidential contest as a top rival to former President Donald Trump.

Intensifying his hard-right shift that began during the pandemic, the 44-year-old Republican governor in recent weeks has pushed the limits of divisive cultural battles over abortion, LGBTQ rights, sex education, guns, immigration and diversity. And in most cases, backed by Republican supermajorities in Florida’s Legislature, he won.

DeSantis in recent weeks signed a law to ban abortion at six weeks of pregnancy and another to allow people to carry concealed guns without a permit. He expanded what critics call his “Don’t Say Gay” law that now blocks classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity for all grades. And in the coming days, he will sign a law banning diversity, equity and inclusion programs in state colleges, along with another bill that prevents students and teachers from being required to use pronouns that don’t correspond to someone’s sex.

I share that summary from the AP because seeing their hand-wringing about the successful Florida governor is delicious. It’s clear from the article’s framing that they’re not at all happy about DeSantis’s wins. The “hard-right” descriptor is one tell. So is the reference to the “Don’t Say Gay” law. The AP seems to lament the governor’s “unapologetic conservative shift” and that he was “one of the GOP’s most aggressive critics of public health measures” (read: he rejected Fauciism). And there’s more:


Indeed, as 2024 has grown closer, DeSantis has done as much or more than any other Republican governor in America to use the levers of government to lean into cultural fights. Along the way, he embraced a new catchphrase: “Florida is where woke comes to die.”

In other legislative wins, DeSantis has made it illegal for state and local investment funds to consider companies’ environmental, social and governance stances in his fight against “woke” corporations. He also signed a bill allowing the death penalty in child rape convictions, despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that banned capital punishment in such cases. And he signed a bill to end a unanimity requirement in death penalty sentencing.

Another new law to harden the state’s immigration policy and add millions of dollars to his controversial migrant relocation program awaits his signature. [Emphasis added]

And the wins just keep coming. The real winners are the people of Florida, for whom life has improved by almost every measure under DeSantis. That’s what has the Left so scared—and why Trump is spending a fortune attacking him.

I subscribe to that old-fashioned notion of demanding that candidates earn my vote. “What have you done for me lately” is a question I’ll ask when I go to cast my vote in Ohio’s GOP primary next year. I want a candidate who is laser-focused on making America a better place, preserving our culture, and standing up to the Left. Based on DeSantis’s record as governor, he’s making a strong case for earning my vote.




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