The DeSantis campaign is in a tailspin, but at the least the Florida governor’s team is feeling good about it.
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Four months into his presidential campaign, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has failed to develop any kind of momentum at any point. Once seen as Donald Trump’s main challenger, his poll numbers have dipped to the very low double digits, and nobody seems to like him. But, apparently, this is just where his campaign likes to see him.
According to an internal memo, first obtained by CBS News, the DeSantis campaign feels as though things are going just great.
The document, which was circulated among donors and supporters ahead of the second GOP debate on Wednesday, gives new meaning to the phrase “putting lipstick on a pig.”
Even though not a single thing has gone well for DeSantis and he has not distinguished himself in any way, the campaign tries to convince donors that the governor is “the only candidate that can beat both Joe Biden and Donald Trump.”
That’s a bold claim coming from somebody who is not only running 50ish points behind the former president, but who is also performing the worst against Biden among all major GOP candidates, according to a recent poll.
Obviously, we use the term “major” loosely since the Republican primary looks more like a coronation of Trump than a competitive race in any state.
Therefore, while the DeSantis campaign seems to believe that it is the only one “built for the long haul in terms of resources and organization,” that only means that the governor can serve as Trump’s punching bag longer than Mike Pence or Nikki Haley.
While it is true that DeSantis is better funded than other candidates, in part because of the probably-illegal transfer from one political action committee to another, there is just one problem: In the GOP primary, money does not vote, only Republicans who believe that the Florida governor has stabbed their orange-faced hero in the back by challenging him.
We have often wondered what possessed DeSantis to enter this race in the first place since the outcome seemed so predictable in every way, but now that he is in it, the governor seems determined to humiliate himself as much as possible.
Now, you may wonder what fuels the campaign’s optimism. According to the memo, it’s that Trump had “a disastrous stretch” because he got flipped off at a college football game and made a mess out of a question about abortion.
Here is the thing, though: It’s only a “disastrous stretch” if Republican voters care. But there is no indication that they mind that Trump has no coherent thoughts on abortion… probably because he has no coherent thoughts on anything, and that has never been a problem before.
It’s also funny that, in the eyes of the DeSantis campaign, getting booed at a football game is worse than being indicted four times for some pretty serious crimes.
The candidate himself seems to realize that the criminal prosecutions of Trump offer his only pathway to the nomination.
In a recent interview, DeSantis said that the former president’s chance of winning an election after being convicted of any of the 91 crimes he has been charged with is “as close to zero as you can get.”
However, since Trump’s trials will take place after most of the primaries have already been held, that doesn’t really help the Florida governor.
Maybe the campaign hopes that whoever gets the second-most votes in those primaries will be awarded the nomination if Trump ends up in the slammer… but the memo didn’t mention that.