Why DeSantis is the Trump Alternative… For Now

Seth Masket: “When DeSantis first ran for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Florida, he was neither the best-known nor the best-funded candidate. He was running as a member of Congress against Florida’s then-Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. DeSantis made the very shrewd decision at that time to run a national campaign for a state party nomination — that is, he sought to get on Fox News as much as possible.”

“By repeatedly reaching out to Fox producers and going on TV to defend Donald Trump through a series of scandals, he achieved two things: 1) He massively increased his name recognition among Florida’s Republican primary voters, the vast majority of whom regularly watch Fox News , and 2) He impressed then-President Trump, who endorsed him. DeSantis thus won the ‘Fox primary,’ helping him win the nomination.”

“This strategy from six years ago is yielding dividends today. After all, his first bid to become Florida’s governor managed to put him on Republicans’ televisions all across the country. So he has the name recognition now that other credible presidential candidates are still working to achieve.”

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