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Florida Democrats Running Failed McAuliffe Strategy Against DeSantis

With a hat tip to Christina Pushaw, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s Press Secretary, whose quip we saw on Twitter, Democrats have taken nothing away from their humiliating defeat in the recent Virginia statewide elections.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Democrat gubernatorial candidates Charlie Crist, Nikki Fried and Annette Taddeo came together over the weekend in Broward County, united in their diagnosis of the biggest problem they see plaguing Florida: Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Except all they talked about was Donald Trump.

Crist, a former Republican Governor turned Democratic congressman from St. Petersburg, offered this assessment of DeSantis: “He’s as arrogant as Trump. He is mini-Trump. DeSantis is a disaster, let’s face it.”

Congresswoman Deborah Wasserman Schultz also couldn't resist bringing Trump into the conversation at the recent Broward County Democrat event, where had six American flags — plus a rainbow LGBTQ flag and a blue, pink and white transgender flag – and she credited Biden and the Democratic Congress for bringing U.S. out of Trump’s “COVID ditch” and restoring the nation’s economy from its pandemic low.

“DeSantis is, to many Republicans, Florida’s incarnation of Donald Trump, his successor, his alter ego, his clone, whatever you want to call it,” said Darryl Paulson, professor emeritus of government at the University of South Florida, according to reporting by the UK’s Guardian.

“He’s certainly run very much in the style of Trump, this in-your-face, critical stance he has taken on a lot of issues, which have ingrained him with Republicans. But the GOP in Florida makes up a little less than 40% of the electorate, so to win a statewide race you need to appeal to the no-party-affiliated, independent voters,” claimed the retired Lefty professor.

“This is a national election whether anyone wants it to be or not. Ron DeSantis is one of the top two Republican nominees for president of the United States in 2024, the other one being Donald Trump,” Sean Shaw, a Florida Democratic National Committeeman, said Monday. Shaw is backing Congressman Charlie Crist in the gubernatorial primary. “It’s Trump or DeSantis, and only one of those people is on the ballot prior to 2024, and that’s Ron DeSantis. Meaning, if you wanted to do something to stop him, you would have to do it in Florida,” reported The New Republic.

And on a 2021 Dean Obeidallah show featuring Florida Democratic state Rep. Anna Eskamani saying DeSantis is “basically Trump 2.0,” MSNBC even ran a headline, “Why Ron DeSantis is more dangerous than Trump” claiming “Florida's kids are less safe because Gov. DeSantis wants to be president some day.”

But, just as the Terry McAuliffe and the Democrats’ mendacious “Youngkin is Trump” campaign didn’t work in Virginia it doesn’t seem to be working in Florida either.

The latest Florida Governor poll by Interactive Polls gives Ron DeSantis the lead over his opposition. DeSantis maintains a comfortable 8-point lead over Charlie Crist while against Nikki Fried he has a lead of 11 points.

The University of North Florida poll (Feb 7-20) had DeSantis at 55 percent and Charlie Crist at 34 percent, while the same poll (Feb 7-20) had DeSantis at 55 percent and Nikki Fried at 32 percent.

National Review’s Phillip Klein did an analysis of Florida polls and came away with a couple of worthwhile impressions:

One is that DeSantis is beating Representative Charlie Crist, the Democratic frontrunner, by eight points. Given that Crist has served as governor and has been running for office in the state for decades, it suggests that DeSantis’s leads cannot merely be chalked up to name recognition.

The other notable feature of these polls is that DeSantis is polling above 50 percent against all potential Democratic challengers. Typically, when incumbents are in danger, they will poll in the low to mid-40s at this point in the cycle.

Of course we are inclined to believe that Governor DeSantis is polling well because his principled limited government constitutional conservative policies are what Floridians want, what’s more, we’re not in the business of giving Democrats advice on how to win campaigns, so we will pass on advising them what might work to turn their fortunes around and leave the last word with Governor DeSantis fabulous Press Secretary Christina Pushaw, “I see the Florida Democrats are using the Terry McAuliffe strategy that worked so well in Virginia.”

  • Christina Pushaw

  • Ron DeSantis

  • Virginia elections

  • Critical race theory

  • parental control

  • Charlie Crist

  • Nikki Fried

  • Annette Taddeo

  • Donald Trump

  • 2022 Florida election

  • Terry McAuliffe strategy

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