Gov. Ron DeSantis

Politico Downgrades Florida Gov. DeSantis Among GOP Candidates Despite Stellar Debate

The establishment media ensured that Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ post-debate bump did not go without a smear.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (TFP File Photo)

The establishment media ensured that Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ post-debate bump did not go without a smear.

The house pundits at the inside-the-Beltway favorite Politico on Saturday said that they were yanking Gov. “DeSagging” from their list of GOP “front-runners,” despite the strong performance DeSantis gave on the debate stage last week.

Politico said its decision left former President Donald Trump as the lone front-runner.

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Politico’s assessment came in the face of demonstrable evidence that DeSantis is poised to surge. As the Tampa Free Press recently recapped the debate reaction:

  • A group of 775 Republican voters surveyed by the pollster before and after the event rated DeSantis the clear winner. Overall, 29% of those respondents said DeSantis performed best, followed by businessman Vivek Ramaswamy at 26% and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley with 15%.
  • DeSantis also overtook Trump among those voters when they were asked whom they were considering voting for, as 67.5% answered DeSantis to Trump’s 61.4%.
  • Voters who watched the debate also gave DeSantis the highest favorability rating, at 72.4%, among those who appeared alongside him at the event.
  • And DeSantis raised $1 million in the first 24 hours after the debate, drawing high praise from some high-powered donors.
  • Even the left-wing Washington Post asserted that DeSantis was the “top” candidate among those at the debate.

Yet none of that apparently mattered to Politico’s left-wing pundits.

“When POLITICO launched its 2024 Republican presidential candidate tracker in March, the GOP was still smarting over a weaker-than-expected midterm election thanks to Trump’s influence. DeSantis had emerged as Trump’s top challenger and was marshaling his resources to launch a giant-killing campaign,” the outlet noted on Saturday.

“But five months later — a span that’s seen four indictments, three DeSantis layoff sprees and one Trump-less debate — it’s Trump unambiguously on top. And everyone else, DeSantis included, way behind. That’s why we’re reshuffling the candidates on the tracker. The biggest move: DeSantis drops down a tier, leaving Trump as the sole candidate in the ‘Frontrunners’ category.”

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Not surprisingly, Politico elevated Ramaswamy, who was the second choice in the poll and considered by both sides to have performed well.

But almost laughingly, Politico pushed former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie from “long shot” to “contender” status.

As the Free Press reported last week, the GOP voters who responded to the poll rated Christie as the worst performer, by far. In all, 22% of those voters labeled Christie the worst, followed by former Vice President Mike Pence, with 13%.

Politico went with its rating even though it admitted that Christie trails DeSantis in national polling, 2.9% to the Florida governor’s 13.8%.

In explaining its decision to downgrade DeSantis, Politico noted that since its tracker launched, Trump’s lead over DeSantis has gone from about 16 points to 42 points. Meanwhile, DeSantis’ support has dropped, from 29% on March 20 to about 14% now.

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