William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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THE NEXT PRESIDENT?  COULD BE.  Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is probably the most famous governor in the nation right now.  He is also the odds-on favorite for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024 should Trump not run.  From Breitbart: 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is enjoying a double-digit lead in support among Florida’s Latino voters, a recent Spectrum News/Siena College survey found.

The survey showed DeSantis holding a comfortable overall lead against his Democrat challenger Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), leading 49 percent to Crist’s 41 percent. Seven percent remain unsure of who they would support.

DeSantis happens to enjoy stronger support from his Republican base than Crist sees from Democrats, as 95 percent of Republicans support DeSantis and 90 percent of Democrats support Crist. The governor also leads among independents, 52 percent to the congressman’s 34 percent. 

Further, the survey found that Crist is failing to garner significant support among Latino voters, as DeSantis has a 16 point advantage — 53 percent to 37 percent:

GOVERNOR
(R) Ron DeSantis 49% (+8)
(D) Charlie Crist 41%
Independents
(R) Ron DeSantis 52% (+18)
(D) Charlie Crist 34%
Hispanics
(R) Ron DeSantis 53% (+16)
(D) Charlie Crist 37%

The results coincide with the recent trend seen in key areas of the state. For instance, there are more Republican Hispanic voters in blue Miami-Dade than Hispanic Democrats. And across the state as a whole, registered Republicans are leading Democrats. Further, GOP voters vastly outnumber Democrats in net gains since 2018.

COMMENT:  If DeSantis is re-elected decisively next month, the presidential spotlight will immediately be on him.  If Trump declines to run, I have no doubt that DeSantis will toss his hat in the ring.  But what if Trump runs?  Does that automatically mean that DeSantis will stay out?  I don't think so.  DeSantis knows that this is his time.  He may never be in a better position.  He'll look at the polls, and if challenging Trump looks statistically possible, I'm guessing he'll do it.  It will take some deft diplomacy on the part of Republican Party leaders to handle the mess.  Could be the political fight of the century.

October 5, 2022