A GOP Takeaway: 'DeSantis in 2024 or Accept Total Defeat'

His massive win in Florida has everyone talking
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2022 9:03 AM CST
In DeSantis, Trump 'Might Have Finally Met His Match'
Incumbent Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis holds his son Mason as he celebrates winning reelection at an election night party in Tampa, Fla, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Ron DeSantis was just elected to serve a second 4-year term as Florida's governor, but the Hill reports the crowd at his victory speech shouted "Two more years!" at him—voicing their hope that his term would be cut short so that he could run for president in 2024. DeSantis didn't just defeat Democrat Charlie Crist on Tuesday night; he won big, ending up with a nearly 19-point margin (the biggest in that race in 40 years) and taking the long-running Democrat stronghold of Miami-Dade County by double digits. That has spurred a slew of pundits to look at what could be coming down the pike for him—as well as for a 2024 Trump candidacy. A roundup:

  • "DeSantis’ [victory] speech was short—under 10 minutes—but it was as impressive as his margin. Substantive, sharp and capturing the rise of Florida as a haven for blue-state refugees, it was a masterpiece of the moment," writes Michael Goodwin for the New York Post, where he calls out the line "Florida is where woke goes to die" in particular. "As a result, Mount Trump can be counted on to continue to simmer and smoke before he finally explodes. It may not matter because in DeSantis, he might have finally met his match."
  • The Wall Street Journal editorial board also flags DeSantis' victory speech, but takes a more tempered tone. "Mr. DeSantis is thought to have presidential ambitions, and his victory speech sounded like it. A national campaign is a much larger challenge than running even a large state like Florida, and Mr. DeSantis will have to cut down on his extensive use of the vertical pronoun [meaning 'I'] if he wants to rally a movement."
  • "There are reasons apart from his political skills that Florida has trended sharply to the right, and his message and persona might not yield the same results elsewhere," acknowledges Ross Douthat for the New York Times, where he takes note of DeSantis' "peculiar kind of anti-charisma." But he writes that "powerful narratives have a way of burying caveats and doubts," and DeSantis can make the case he was "the only Republican who fully exploited the openings the Biden Democrats gave the GOP, the Republican who actually achieved the kind of realigning victory that Trumpism’s theoreticians kept promising was just around the corner."

  • The Hill flags this tweet from right-wing commentator Mike Cernovich: "Trump has 0 shot at 2024 general. After tonight, this isn’t up for debate. I was around in 2015 when he had 'no chance,' and accurately said he’d win. Threw biggest inauguration event in 2017. Times change or he changed or whatever. DeSantis in 2024 or accept total defeat."
  • Liz Peek expresses a similar sentiment at Fox News: "Trump may be ready to play dirty to win the GOP nomination in 2024. If he does, he will not only cement the disdain with which many in his party view him today, he will once again scorch Republican chances of defeating Democrats. Let us hope that the millions of Americans who have supported Trump in 2016 and again in 2020 begin to see that his time has passed. If they like his policies, they need to move their allegiance to Ron DeSantis, who has never lost a campaign, and who emerged the big winner in these midterms."
(More Ron DeSantis stories.)

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