Why Is the Media Rushing to Write DeSantis’s Political Obituary?

Political News

It’s only been a two weeks since Ron DeSantis officially became a candidate for the Republican nomination for president, and the mainstream media is already trying to write his political obituary.

But regardless of whether you are backing Trump or DeSantis in 2024, you should consider that this pronouncement of DeSantis’s failure is extremely premature.

The narrative was set from the beginning. Critics were quick to seize on the glitchy launch of DeSantis’s campaign on Twitter Spaces. While technical issues can be embarrassing, it is crucial to put them in perspective. Overlooking the launch’s hiccups, one cannot ignore the record-breaking haul of $8.2 million in campaign donations DeSantis received in the first 24 hours following the announcement. This outpouring of support suggests that there is a considerable base of individuals who believe in his leadership and policy agenda.

The latest piece of evidence the media is jumping on is the latest Civiqs poll, which shows that DeSantis is currently experiencing a negative net approval rating of 19 points, with 55 percent of respondents disapproving, while only 36 percent hold a favorable view of him—compared to a even split of 47 percent approval/disapproval in early December.

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“Around this time, suggestions that DeSantis should be the one to lead the GOP in 2024 were gaining momentum after many—including those in the Republican Party—blamed Donald Trump for the party’s poor midterm performance. A number of candidates endorsed by the former president lost their races in elections across the country,” insists Newsweek. “In the subsequent months, DeSantis’ approval rating has fallen 19 points, with polls continuing to suggest that Trump is the overwhelming favorite to clinch the GOP presidential nomination in 2024 despite his continuing legal difficulties.”

Related: Trump’s Primary Support Is Weaker Than It Looks. Here’s Why.

These poll numbers require some context. For starters, one reason for how they stand is that Trump has the largest chunk of support in GOP primary polling, and he’s spent more time in recent months attacking DeSantis than Joe Biden. It is likely that DeSantis’s poll numbers are a reflection of Trump’s attacks and the loyalty of his voter base, rather than a reflection of the governor’s performance or policies. Trump’s sway over Republican voters cannot be underestimated, and his influence is most certainly the biggest factor impacting DeSantis’s polling numbers.

That is a problem for DeSantis, but as we’ve reported in the past, Trump’s support isn’t built on the most solid foundation. A recent poll conducted by CBS News/YouGov focusing on the GOP primary race revealed that a significant portion of Trump’s support comes from GOP primary voters who are open to supporting a different candidate. Surprisingly, only 24% of GOP primary voters are exclusively considering Trump, while 27% are not considering him at all. The majority, comprising 49% of GOP primary voters, remain receptive to considering either Trump or an alternative candidate. Polls have also suggested that DeSantis is slowly but surely closing the gap in various states.

Trump remains favored to win the nomination, for sure, but the media certainly seems to want Trump as the nominee and are anxiously seeking to create the impression that DeSantis’s campaign is dead in the water. Why would they do that? Is it because they know that Trump’s legal issues could put his campaign out of commission in the middle of the general election, giving Joe Biden an edge to get reelected?

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