His recent visits have benefited the Republican Party
On February 9, after delivering the State of the Union address to the citizens of the United States, it has been confirmed that Democratic President Joe Biden will head to Tampa, Florida. His visit to the Sunshine State is part of a 20-state tour, and during his visit he'll address social security, healthcare costs and Medicare.
In the last few months of 2022, Biden had made a number of visits to Florida, first to survey the damage done by Hurricane Ian and later to campaign on behalf of Charlie Crist - the Democrat who was defeated by a double-digit margin by Governor Ron DeSantis.
On each occasion, it appeared the rather than serving to improve the President's profile and approval rating in Florida, it actually served to benefit Ron DeSantis and state Republicans. So significant were the effects of his words and actions in Florida in benefitting DeSantis, the Republican governor went as far as joking:
“I think it’s an in-kind contribution to my campaign.”
Republican Party's hold over Florida is getting stronger
While DeSantis has only just begun his second term in office, thoughts are turning towards the presidential election in 2024. While the Florida Governor hasn't formally confirmed his intention to run for the White House, there seems little doubt that Florida in particular is a stronghold for the GOP.
And the effects of Biden visiting again could be to increase this power, rather than persuading Floridians that he's the man for a second term.
When the president visited Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian - he offered positive remarks about DeSantis and his handling of the crisis, stating that:
"What the governor has done is pretty remarkable so far."
After that, the Republican's campaign gained momentum and DeSantis' grip on another term got stronger. In October 2022 it was reported that an additional 540,000 Republican voters had registered in Florida since the 2018 election, compared to a net-loss of 9,000 registered Democrats.
With a significant senior population, there may be many who are interested to hear what Biden has to say about topics such as social security, healthcare costs and Medicare. Nonetheless, his views on the subject may not be enough to win over voters in advance of the next election.
The gas stove debate
Another 'hot' topic that DeSantis has been focusing his anger towards of late, has been the supposed infringement of American freedoms with the Biden administration supposedly threatening the availability of gas stoves in America on environmental grounds.
In early January, when President Biden made a statement that prompted outrage from various Republican politicians and conservative pundits - that his administration was considering a possible ban on the sale of gas stoves.
Within days, Democrats had gone to lengths to confirm that a ban wasn't being planned, and rather that the initiative was a matter related to concerns about emissions of dangerous gases from gas stoves, but the damage was done.
DeSantis has since gone to lengths to capitalize on the supposed overreach by government. He has proposed a tax break on gas stoves as part of the state's new budget, and has also launched a range of merchandise featuring a gas stove with the slogan 'Don't Tread on Me' emblazoned upon it.
When Biden lands in Florida, he may also get some 'heat' for his comments about gas stoves, from Floridian Republicans - time will tell!
Do you think that President Biden will be welcomed in Florida when he visits on February 9? Do Democrats have any chance of making up ground in Florida? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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