Back in April, Palmer Report predicted that Ron DeSantis would end up being more likely to lose than win reelection in Florida in 2022. We based this on the fact that his numbers were already fairly unimpressive, and his rigid insistence on playing to his base even when the majority is firmly against him.
It should surprise no one that as the year has gone on, DeSantis has proceeded to double down on the unpopular side of key issues such as school mask mandates, thus driving his own numbers down. Now President Biden is throwing down the gauntlet on pushing Americans to get vaccinated, and DeSantis is naturally trying to push back against him.
Polling done last month shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans in five key swing states favor corporations forcing employees to get vaccinated or be constantly tested. This poll did not include Florida, but the numbers there surely look similar to the other five swing states.
Now that Ron DeSantis has decided to make himself the face of the pushback against Biden on this, he’s managed to pick an issue where perhaps two-thirds of his own state is against him. This is on top of a separate poll which shows that three-fifths of all Floridans favor school mask mandates – another issue where DeSantis has decide to make himself the face of the opposition.
This is why we’ve predicted all along that Ron DeSantis would end up having real trouble getting reelected in Florida. DeSantis firmly comes from the Trump school of only ever pandering to your base, and expecting it to magically get you reelected. DeSantis doesn’t appear to understand that this is such a bad strategy, it cost Trump reelection. With Florida being Florida, it’ll take real work to oust DeSantis in 2022. But the numbers say that it’s extremely doable. And of course DeSantis is likely just getting started sabotaging himself.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report