Desantis Agrees to Debate Newsom
The Battle for 2028
California Governor Gavin Newsom threw the gauntlet down on Ron Desantis and challenged Desantis to a debate. When Fox News host Sean Hannity asked Desantis about it, he agreed to a debate.
What makes this scenario odd is that neither will be the 2024 candidate for their respective parties, barring any unforeseen circumstances. Such as Biden stepping down (or dying) or Trump getting convicted (or dying). Both are the most visible new blood in the national political race, and they are the ones to watch for 2028.
Even though Desantis has won the Florida Governorship twice, the second by a wide margin, he has little public appeal outside Florida or the Trump base. The Florida appeal is that Florida has been steadily overtaken by a populace of Trumpers and Northerners tired of paying their fair share of taxes. The Trump base appeal is that he is enough like Trump, without the baggage, that he could easily take the reigns if Trump did die or get convicted.
Newsom, on the other hand, is a very popular Governor who defeated a recall vote in 2021 by a nearly 2:1 margin. He also was re-elected by a 2/3 margin over the Republican challenger in 2022. California also has the largest GDP of the US states. With a GDP of $3.5T, it is roughly 15% of the US GDP of $23.3T. Florida is $1.3T, in fourth place.
While historically, the sitting VP would be the frontrunner after a President’s second term, Kamala Harris has failed to garner the support of the mainstream Democratic and Independent voters. She is surely capable, as was Hillary Clinton, but the Presidency is a popularity contest. And in America, strong women have been a turnoff for American voters. Hopefully, that will change, but I doubt it will happen by the 2028 election.
Newsom is a very outgoing and popular Governor, not just in California but across the USA. He excels at Retail Politics, getting in and pressing the flesh with voters. This is something Desantis is sorely lacking. Desantis comes across as if he were Marie Antoinette, having to tolerate the regular Joes and Janes rather than thriving in their presence. He always looks like he is constipated and in severe bowel distress. His smile comes across as fake, whereas Newsom has a million-watt smile that looks genuine.
In press conferences, Desantis has often said things that make him sound like he was caught on test day without the answers to the questions. Newsom, on the other hand, is polished and seldom loses his composure.
Desantis is in a race to the bottom with Texas Governor Abbott to see which of them can be the most deplorable. Desantis used Florida funds to ship immigrants from Texas to Martha’s Vinyard. Desantis introduced the so-called Don’t Say Gay bill that severely targets people of the LGTBQIA+ community; the bill allows one—yes, ONE—parent to have books they feel inappropriate pulled from school libraries. He picked a fight with Disney over their dissent of this bill! White supremacists laud Desantis, as do Homophobes, Transphobes, and far-right Christian Conservatives, who feel everyone in Florida and America should live under Christian Sharia laws.
Newsom has a 58% approval rating of all adults in California. And while Desantis has dropped in Florida from 69% to 50%. Desantis' national approval rating is higher than Trump, but in the actual Republican polling nationwide, he trails the twice-impeached, thrice-indicted Trump by 30% for the Republican nomination.
In a battle of wits and a debate, I would liken the matchup of Desantis v Newsom to Connor McGregor battling Pee Wee Herman in the octagon. With Newsom being McGregor.
Barring the aforementioned circumstances, it will likely be Biden v Trump redux in 2024. However, 2028 will see these two being the likely frontrunners. This proposed debate would give us a preview of the likability and electability of these two candidates. I would love to see the debate if it happens.
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