In an ideal scenario, more national exposure would be a good thing for a presidential hopeful. But in Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ case, the more voters learn about him, the less they can stomach the idea of him running the country.
In a new NBC News poll out Sunday, DeSantis dropped a devastating nine points from April to just 22 percent support in the Republican primary. Donald Trump, meanwhile, surged 5 points to 51 percent, taking a clear lead in the race, despite his extensive legal troubles. Former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott are all badly trailing Trump and DeSantis with single-digit support among GOP voters.
In a general election match-up, President Joe Biden is currently leading Trump 49 to 45 percent, with strong advantages among women voters (55-38), 18-34 year olds (65-30), Latinos (66-26), and Independents (47-33). Biden’s job approval rating has jumped 10 points since April, from 43 percent to a healthy 53.
DeSantis had once seemed to be Republicans’ best shot at nominating anyone other than Trump. But as campaign season marches on, he has proven to have the worst possible combination of qualities: zero charisma and too-extreme politics. His crusade against abortion, LGBTQ people, and books on classroom shelves have already scared off Republican donors. A federal judge ruled just this weekend that his ban on drag shows likely violates the First Amendment in the Constitution protecting free speech. He’s waged an unpopular war on Disney over its supposed “wokeness.” He’s openly promising to nominate hardline conservatives like Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court at a time when said conservatives justices are being exposed for scandal after scandal. And his Super PAC complains about Trump’s focus on DeSantis’ dick size and puts out absolutely humiliating videos like this:
We’re getting to the point where Trump doesn’t even have to call DeSantis “Meatball Ron,” “Tiny D,” or—most devastatingly—“Rob,” because the Florida governor is doing a fine job dunking on himself. And while I certainly shudder at the idea of Trump being nominated for president a second time, I must admit I also enjoy watching the Sunshine State’s boring fascist lose all his friends at such a stunning pace.