Wednesday, June 22, 2022


There have been a couple of straw polls in which Ron DeSantis has beaten Donald Trump, but this is the first poll I'm aware of in which DeSantis has beaten Trump among the general (Republican) electorate:

Not only does DeSantis beat Trump in the primary, he does much better than Trump in the general election.

It's just one poll of one state. But it's a sign that maybe I've been wrong about Trump's ability to coast to the nomination in 2024.

Of course, Trump hasn't started running. We know what he'll do, assuming he enters the race: He'll attack and belittle DeSantis. He's good at that. Some infantile nickname he gives DeSantis will probably catch on. (As I've said before, I think he'll call DeSantis "Rotten Ron," which the fans will find witty and hilarious.) He'll make scurrilous accusations. (Remember when Roger Stone insinuated that DeSantis was cheating on his cancer-stricken wife with a Newsmax correspondent?) In states where Trump loyalists run the GOP, he can demand the cancellation of primaries so he can be declared the winner by acclamation.

But if Trump fails at all this, watch out -- not just because we'll be up against a Republican candidate who's more serious about authoritarianism than Trump, and more disciplined. If DeSantis wins the nomination, the media might tell us that he actually performed a service for democracy by defeating Trump. The press might sell DeSantis to moderate voters as a return to pre-Trump normality.

We know he's a fascist. I hope voters know that if he wins the nomination. I hope they aren't told that he's basically Adam Kinzinger with a tan.

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