For the more traditional American right, Republican Ron DeSantis embodies the alternative to former President Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential primaries. But his campaign does not finish fulfilling the expectations placed on him months ago.
(You can read: Would DeSantis be Donald Trump’s vice president? The Florida governor responds)
What has failed the governor of Florida?
The Twitter fiasco
For his long-awaited entry into the campaign for the Republican primaries at the end of May, DeSantis, 44, promised a live stream on Twitter moderated by Elon Musk.
It was a way of embodying a breath of fresh air against his main rival for the Republican nomination, former President Trump, 77.
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But turned into a fiasco due to a series of technical problems.
“Your microphone is not open”, “what a pity, it doesn’t usually happen”, were some of the words that hundreds of thousands of users heard, instead of the program that the governor of Florida wanted to present.
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Lack of charisma?
After being triumphantly elected as Governor of Florida in November 2022, DeSantis hoped to earn the trust of the entire United States with his positions on immigration, abortion and gender issues..
DeSantis has stumbled out. He does not connect with the voters. He blames this on the media, but it’s really his fault.
But on the ground he is accused of lacking charisma and has been mocked, in particular for his laugh.
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“DeSantis has stumbled out. He doesn’t connect with the voters. He blames this on the media, but it’s really his fault,” said Todd Belt, a professor of political science at George Washington University.
“He’s not giving voters much to vote for” and it’s hard for people to see how he differs from Trump, beyond his most extreme ideas, he explains to AFP. “He has tried to make some political statements, like on immigration, but most have come to nothing.”
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drop in polls
The consequence is in sight.
The governor, on whom conservatives had pinned their hopes after the Republican Party’s disappointment in last year’s midterm elections, is now more than 30 points behind the former president in the polls, according to RealClearPolitics.
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“The more people know you, the more your polls go down”Trump recently joked on his Truth Social network.
The investigations against him have not stopped the former president from launching into his third run for the White House and presenting himself as the victim of a Democratic-led “witch hunt,” a theory supported by many of his supporters.
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Despite his accusations in a court in New York and one in Miami, The former New York businessman boasts of having raised millions of dollars thanks to the media attention monopolized by these legal proceedings.
DeSantis’ decline in the polls benefits the dozen or so trailing Republican candidates, including former Vice President Mike Pence, though his chances of clinching the nomination appear limited.
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Everything is lost?
But all this does not mean that DeSantis is politically buried, his allies warn.
The battle for the Republican nomination has only just begun and the ex-naval officer will have plenty of opportunities to fight back before the first primary, scheduled for mid-January.
(Keep reading: Civil organizations will sue the harsh anti-immigration law in Florida, United States)
To begin with, there is the first debate between the Republican candidates, scheduled for August 23. An opportunity for DeSantis, who has never attacked Trump head-on, to finally enter the arena.
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