Election Day was a Stephen King novel kind of day. What seemed certain was turned on its head and celebratory toasts were postponed for Republicans who don’t live in Florida.
Let’s talk about Florida. Our election was DeSantis versus Biden and it was a Mike Tyson fight. A knockout occurred in the first round. DeSantis tied Crist to Biden and never let slippery Charlie slip away.
DeSantis had a story to tell. He had kept Florida running while the nation shut down and he had pushed back against the woke culture. He did all this while keeping Trump at a distance. The chants in Tampa of “2 more years” sent a nationwide message.
The rest of the country was a little different. In many of the races it was Trump versus Biden. Even with the economy in the toilet and crime on the rise, the Trump candidates fared poorly. Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania, Dan Bolduc in New Hampshire, Tudor Dixon in Michigan, Blake Masters in Arizona, Dave Mastriano in Pennsylvania and Hershel Walker in Georgia all lost or underperformed.
If you live in a social media bubble and only read what like minded people post it is easy to become detached from reality. What is becoming clearer each week is that Donald Trump is becoming a political toxin. While 30% may love him and how he “gives ‘em hell,” 53% of the voters detest him. His negatives are much worse than the negatives Hillary Clinton had when Trump defeated her in 2016. Her voters were shocked that she lost. Many Trump diehards are shocked at his falling numbers.
Successful people don’t ignore reality but, rather, they learn from defeat. They change tactics and move forward. Nationally, Republicans need to develop a strategy for 2024. It is so important for our country that we win back the White House. Unlike Manatee county which is deep red, Republicans must win over independent voters to win a national election. This requires us to look beyond Donald Trump to find a new leader.