DeSantis 2024 Run Hanging On By A Thread

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announces his presidential bid in the coming months, he may have trouble wooing an important group of voters, independents.

Despite DeSantis winning his gubernatorial election by a landslide in November, he had particular problems garnering the support of independent female voters.

According to a recent Emerson College poll, more than 51 percent of Florida’s independent voters disapprove of the governor’s job performance, and more than 61 percent of independent female voters disapprove of his leadership.

According to Susan Del Percio, a veteran GOP strategist, independent female voters were responsible for pushing back on “hardcore Republicanism,” adding these types of voters wouldn’t accept hardcore Republicanism, adding that DeSantis’s “rhetoric has gotten uglier over time” becoming a turnoff to independent female voters.

Since becoming Florida’s Governor in 2018, DeSantis has embraced rhetoric synonymous with the modern conservative movement by pushing a long list of hardline policies and constantly picking policy battles.

The Florida Governor has famously railed against federal public health officials’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, banned the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom, and led efforts to remove Disney’s influence in Central Florida.

As Florida’s annual legislative session is in full swing, DeSantis has several other controversial policies on his desk, creating even greater distance between himself and independent voters by signing a law enabling Floridians to carry a gun without a state permit.

DeSantis also supported a six-week abortion ban that the state’s Senate passed.

But as the Florida Governor prepares to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, the possibility that his administration record could come back to haunt him looms, especially if he survives the GOP’s primaries and advances to face a broader constituency of more moderate and independent voters.