Governor Ron DeSantis Brags: “If People Want To Know How To Conduct Elections, Look What Florida Does”

Toby Hazlewood

All votes were counted while dealing with a hurricane

On November 19, Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis - newly reelected - spoke to the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual summit in Las Vegas where he proudly spoke of his victory. During his address, he also described the success of Florida's electoral system, that counted all the votes cast within 24-hours, at the same time as dealing with the effects of Hurricane Nicole.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the country, some states took over a week to return results - notably in Arizona where the Republican gubernatorial candidate - Kari Lake - was defeated, in spite of an endorsement from the former one-term president Donald Trump.

Trump was there too

At the same event, Donald Trump gave his first speech since announcing his candidacy for the presidency in 2024. In spite of the usual self-congratulatory bluster from Trump, news of his next political campaign has received a grim response from those at the core of the GOP.

While those who are reliably loyal to Trump (such as Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor-Greene) have welcomed the news, other politicians are less encouraging.

After news that Trump was offended that those he has endorsed in the past were slow to offer him their endorsement, Colorado Republican Lauren Boebert who narrowly managed to get reelected, spoke favorably about DeSantis, suggesting that her allegiances are shifting.

Conservative news media outlets have also seemed to distance themselves from Trump, and the New York Post was dismissive to the point of mocking Trump with coverage of his announcement consigned to page 26 of the tabloid when news broke.

In the last few days, many Republican mega-donors have publicly declared that they will be supporting Ron DeSantis with political donations going forwards, and not Donald Trump. In the words of billionaire investor Ken Griffin:

"I'd like to think that the Republican Party is ready to move on from somebody who has been for this party a three-time loser."

DeSantis presents blueprint for success

Ron DeSantis appears to have emerged from midterms as a really credible threat to Trump as Republican presidential candidate. A YouGov poll carried out post-midterms shows DeSantis 7% ahead of Trump as the preferred candidate.

While Trump has gone on the offensive regarding DeSantis - referring to him as 'Ron DeSanctimonious' - Florida's governor has been smartly ignoring attacks, choosing instead to point out that results speak for themselves.

The DeSantis tactic may yet pay dividends and he was keen to present Florida's example as a 'blueprint for success' when he spoke to the Republican Jewish Coalition on November 19, saying:

"The job of a leader is not to stick your finger in the wind and try to contort yourself to wherever public opinion may be trending on one given moment. No, the job of a leader is to set out a vision, to execute that vision, to show people that it’s the right vision and to deliver concrete results."

The speech that DeSantis gave to the Republican Jewish Coalition on November 19 is likely just the first in a series of appearances across the country in the coming months that help Florida's governor to build his profile, following and support, nationwide. Time will tell what the effects of this are.

Do you think that Ron DeSantis is a more credible presidential candidate than Donald Trump? Would you rather that he focused on being governor of Florida? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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