Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson predicted that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ expected attempt to win the Republican presidential nomination could turn out to be very short.
“Polls still show DeSantis as having the best chance to defeat Donald Trump in the GOP race,” he wrote. “But they also show his prospects rapidly heading in the wrong direction.”
DeSantis, who is expected to announce his candidacy within weeks, is down by 37 points in one recent poll.
DeSantis is trying to run to the right of Trump, pushing “some of the most draconian” restrictions on abortion rights as well as attacks on everyone from the LGBTQ community to teachers in the name of his “anti-woke” agenda.
“Ta-da! Yet his poll numbers keep going down, not up,” Robinson wrote.
DeSantis has also been locked in a war with Disney in retaliation for the company’s criticism.
“Trying to punish a company for statements that had no practical impact — except, perhaps, on DeSantis’s brittle ego — seems wildly at odds with traditional conservative values,” he noted, adding:
“The Disney thing would just be a loopy sideshow if it didn’t highlight traits that could hold DeSantis back as a presidential candidate — and that would be dangerous for the nation and the world if, heaven forbid, he ever became president: paper-thin skin, a propensity to hold grudges and a tendency to go way too far.”
DeSantis has been telling donors that he’s a better candidate than Trump because he thinks he can win in the swing states. But Robinson said DeSantis’ far-right agenda won’t play well in those key regions.
“Why would suburban women who voted for Joe Biden in 2020 vote for Ron DeSantis in 2024?” he wrote, adding: “Great politicians learn from their mistakes and course correct as necessary. DeSantis seems not to understand that going full-speed ahead is a bad idea if you’re approaching a cliff.”