Helen Lewis/The Atlantic:
The Humiliation of Ron DeSantis
The Florida governor isn’t Trump plus competence; he’s Trump minus jokes.
Before his stump speeches in his reelection campaign last year, Ron DeSantis liked to play a video montage that showed him being gratuitously rude to reporters at press conferences. It was petty and graceless—and warmly received by the Florida governor’s base. At a DeSantis rally in Melbourne, Florida, last fall, I watched the video from an elevated press pen alongside a gaggle of local reporters. The disconnect between the unflagging politeness that DeSantis’s young volunteers showed the press corps and the ostentatious douchebaggery of the candidate was stark.
Ramaswamy, who’s got the money to advertise, is all over the place in the polls. Meanwhile:
Dan Pfeiffer/”The Message Box” on Substack:
Is Ron DeSantis’s Campaign Already Over?
The Florida Governor has very little in common with the small handful of candidates who have bounced back from epic flops
Since his peak, DeSantis has steadily dropped in the polls, become a national joke for his awkward encounters with voters, and given the worst campaign announcement in history. In the I&I/TIPP poll, DeSantis lost five points in the last month and is now down 39 points to Trump.
Will Bunch/Philadelphia Inquirer:
Political refugees: Why a family fleeing Ron DeSantis’ Florida chose Swarthmore
Why two top Fla. Dems fled for a Philly suburb, joining an exodus of political refugees from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ increasingly authoritarian state.
“I didn’t want her to grow up thinking that was normal,” said Stacey of what Florida has become under DeSantis. “When it was just Sanjay and I, we wanted to fight. We wanted to do our very best to transform Florida and make it a better place. But the cost for a two-year-old is far too high to be able to do that. She cannot live thinking people hate each other like that.”
Asawin Suebsaeng/Rolling Stone:
Private GOP Polling Data Reveals Why DeSantis’ Campaign Is Sputtering
The Florida governor wanted to unseat Trump in part by harnessing voters’ rage over Covid and vaccines. Internal data reveals that’s a losing bet
Six different Republican operatives, campaign officials, and pollsters described or shared with Rolling Stone internal data and surveys they’d conducted or reviewed last and this year. Some of these sources are Trump-aligned, some support DeSantis, and others back different 2024 GOP presidential hopefuls. Across the board in the surveys, Covid-related policy — including vaccines and vaccine mandates — did not rank as an item of high concern for voters. That held true even when voters were specifically given the option of Covid policy when asked about their concerns. Since the middle of last year, Covid-related policy did not show up in conservatives’ top 10, or top 15, issues in any form, leading various campaigns and consultants to declare it, for the most part, unuseful.
Max Burns with a good video summarizing Ron DeSantis:
Greg Sargent/Washington Post:
The hidden way Bidenomics is already weakening Trump’s 2024 hopes
When discussing the agenda known as “Bidenomics,” liberals often treat the Rust Belt as the ground zero of U.S. presidential politics. Because of lingering trauma from Donald Trump’s 2016 victories in the region, they look for signs that President Biden’s efforts to rebuild the nation’s manufacturing base might again put the region firmly in the blue column for the long term.
But that focus misses a story hiding in plain sight. Bidenomics has the potential to reshape presidential politics in another way: by hastening a transformation that’s making Sun Belt states such as Arizona and Georgia increasingly important to the Democratic path to an electoral-college majority.
Those two states are seeing outsize gains from three major economic bills that Biden signed in 2021 and 2022, which are spurring massive investments in green energy, semiconductor manufacturing and infrastructure.
Celinda Lake and Mac Heller/Washington Post:
2024 won’t be a Trump-Biden replay. You can thank Gen Z for that.
It’s easy to envision the 2024 presidential election becoming the third straight contest in which a veteran Democrat goes up against Donald Trump. Once again, the Democrat wins the popular vote but swing states are tighter. Could go either way — and has, right?
But things are very different this time, and here’s why: The candidates might not be changing — but the electorate has.
Every year, about 4 million Americans turn 18 and gain the right to vote. In the eight years between the 2016 and 2024 elections, that’s 32 million new eligible voters.
Also every year, 2½ million older Americans die. So in the same eight years, that’s as many as 20 million fewer older voters.