The good news is that the American public has seen Ron DeSantis for who he is and rejected him. In addition to him having almost no social skills, his likability levels are near zero. His entire campaign was based on appealing to hate, and he’s now been exposed.
It would seem to be good news for those who know him best to watch his continued plummet in the polls, falling further behind the twice-impeached, 71-times-indicted (combining 34 counts in Manhattan and 37 in Mar-a-Lago) former president of the United States. Trump is facing possible additional indictments in Georgia for trying to overturn an election and from Jack Smith’s special counsel for trying to overthrow the government. But the point isn’t how bad Trump is but that DeSantis keeps losing ground.
DeSantis is still a solid second behind Trump, and there’s always the possibility that something dramatic will happen to end Trump’s run or eliminate him from the Republican nomination. Trump could have health issues from one too many quarter-pounders or find himself behind bars. Trump says he’s no quitter and would continue to run if convicted, hoping to pardon himself if a convict is elected president. DeSantis could do well during the debates, but a betting man would go with Chris Christie abusing him as he did Marco Rubio in 2020. The most likely occurrence is that Ron DeSantis is soundly defeated during the Republican nomination process and returns to Florida to finish his second term as governor.
Whatever you think of DeSantis, he has no aversion to using or abusing power. He’ll still be a governor with a private army, an election police under his control, and a state legislature unwilling to tell him no to anything he requests. I have no desire to suggest to DeSantis what he might do, but if you are Hispanic, Black, LGBTQ, a teacher, principal, or school board member, this will be no time to breathe easy. Ron DeSantis will have something to prove, and he got where he is now by attacking you. Expect more of the same.
DeSantis will not lose his political aspirations after a single nomination loss. Many others have found the second or third time a charm. Ronald Reagan lost in 1968 and 1976 before breaking through in 1980. DeSantis is young (by candidate standards). We will likely see him again.
Related: The Fear of Donald Trump’s Playbook
DeSantis may choose to run for senator, which many governors do (including Rick Scott, who presently is one of Florida’s senators, the other being Rubio). I worry less about what Senator DeSantis might do than how he might act during his final two-plus years as Governor. The Florida Constitution currently prohibits DeSantis from running for a third consecutive term. Still, Florida law once prohibited him from running for president without first resigning, and he got around that.
Ron DeSantis has already proven himself a dangerous man who cares little about several groups of people and the Constitution. Several of his new laws have already been thrown out as being unconstitutional. What is Ron DeSantis willing to do to prove he’s politically viable for future office? I submit he knows no bounds, and the citizens of Florida will have much to endure before he’s through.