During the 2018 midterm elections, the Florida governorship race was one of the most contested races across the country. The race came down to only a few thousand votes, and it looked like the then-Representative Ron DeSantis squeaked out the Democratic mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum. As the preliminary counts were so close, there was a recount of the votes per state law. After weeks of trying to find votes in Broward County for Gillum to keep the seat Blue, their efforts were futile. DeSantis won the governorship by about 0.4%.
Ever since more people living in the Northeastern United States have been moving to Florida, the ideas of those people have followed them and are making Florida one of, if not, the most important swing state in national elections. Its importance comes to the forefront because of its 29 electoral votes, thus making it the largest battleground prize of the presidential election. The voter party registrations also make the races even more convoluted as there are 4.9 million registered Democrats, 4.7 million registered Republicans, and 3.6 million who are unaffiliated. Because of this, the state’s importance and unpredictability create a nerve-racking situation in general elections.
Florida has a tendency to create chaotic statewide and national elections. This can be most easily seen with the 2000 presidential election as the election came down to about 500 votes. With there being over 5.8 million ballots cast in the state, it is pure insanity that it came down to that small of an amount. Since then, Florida has been considered a make-or-break state for Republicans, as it also decided the 2004 election.
Furthermore, while it is true that then-candidate Trump could have lost Florida and still won the 2016 presidential election, he would have only had a cushion of 5 electoral votes. This would mean that his already tight road to 270 electoral votes would have been even more narrow. Moreover, to win in 2020, President Trump desperately needs to win Florida for his re-election campaign as it is very unlikely that Trump will be able to win all of the states he won in 2016, especially Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Currently, this isn’t good for Trump as he only has a 44% approval rating and a 51% disapproval rating according to the latest poll from Quinnipiac University.
So, what can President Trump do to make his re-election campaign a little bit easier in Florida? Well, a new poll from Morning Consult actually makes it pretty clear.
In this July survey, it was found that Ron DeSantis was one of the most popular governors in the country, with an approval rating of 57% and a disapproval of only 20%. Although these numbers aren’t as good as Governor Baker (R – MA) or Governor Hogan (R – MD), it should be of note that he is at +2 with Democratic voters despite him being very conservative.
Some of the policies he’s introduced include things such as increasing importation of prescription drugs from Canada, the creation of a task force to reduce the impact of harmful algae blooms, and expanding their school voucher program. All of these actions have been quite popular in the state, so it begs the question of, “Why can’t Trump support these actions?” While the idea may seem simplistic, it has an immense amount of potential.
For example, take the idea of increasing importation of prescription drugs from Canada, which has a 75% approval rating in Florida according to the Sun Sentinel. Currently, Republicans have not fulfilled their promise of repealing ObamaCare and subsequently haven’t done too much in the way of healthcare legislation. This conservative policy of deregulation, while it may not seem like much, could keep thousands of dollars back into the hands of hard working Americans.
If President Trump could advocate for this policy on a national level and mention the success of the program in Florida under Governor DeSantis, his chances of re-election in Florida will most likely skyrocket. Furthermore, the other popular policies previously mentioned above could also help make the Trump Administration look stronger on the environment and education reform if done in a similar manner.
With Governor DeSantis’ impressive approval ratings in recent polls, the path for President Trump’s reelection campaign in Florida could become a cakewalk. When playing his cards right and praising DeSantis for his work as governor, Trump could see a large victory in the all-important battleground state. However, if he ignores the popular policies that Floridians have received under their beloved governor, Trump’s re-election campaign could be dead early on the night of November 3, 2020.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.