e is the big winner of the mid-term elections in the United States, still awaiting the end of a very long recount, which in any case does not certify the announced Republican tsunami or, therefore, the corresponding resounding debacle of the Democratic Party.
Ron DeSantis, Governor of the State of Florida, has not only revalidated his mandate but has also done so with such overwhelming forcefulness that he is already beginning to be seen as the Grand Old Party’s best candidate for the presidential elections of 2024. This is as much as to say that he would be Donald Trump’s great rival in the primaries, in case the former president finally decides to announce his candidacy next Tuesday, as he himself has suggested coinciding with the election day.
With the polls in hand and the abundant compilation of statements by Trump himself and the numerous list of candidates in his camp, i.e. those who continue to spread the idea that the White House was stolen from them in 2020, there were well-founded fears that Election Day would go down in the annals of history as a black Tuesday. Fortunately, it seems that these candidacies, far from sweeping, have won in the places they have won a victory that has not at all lived up to the expectations aroused, which has in turn meant that Joe Biden and his Democratic supporters have considerably limited the damage that was predicted for them.
All this means that we may be witnessing the beginning of Donald Trump’s definitive political decline, despite the undoubted control he has over the Republican Party, which he will undoubtedly use for his own ends. However, both the evidence that his accusations and threats do not carry voters to the point of completely destroying his rivals, and the emergence of a figure of sufficient stature to stand up to him, indicate that within the party itself things seem to be moving to avoid becoming an extremist and almost anti-establishment movement.
DeSantis is a man of law and order, a conservative who puts freedom at the forefront of his policies. There are even those who compare his way of governing to Madrid’s Isabel Díaz Ayuso. For example, in the softening of his fiscal policy, which has managed to attract tens of thousands of companies and liberal professionals to Florida from “hostile” states such as California and New York. Also, like Díaz Ayuso, DeSantis managed to lay the foundations of his good reputation during the Covid-19 pandemic, when he took the boldest and riskiest decisions, unlike Washington and the vast majority of other states, to mitigate the effects of the epidemic, both in the management of vaccines and the most vulnerable citizens and on the economy of Florida as a whole. The result is that this swing state (swinging in favour of one party or the other depending on the election) has now become distinctly Republican.
Of course, the Trumpism that has permeated the party has not disappeared in this election, nor is it likely to do so for a long time. However, the disqualifying excesses of a Donald Trump with ostensible autocratic impulses are not to the liking of at least one part of the party, which could be called moderate or at least attached to the American constitutional tradition. It is its components who see in Ron DeSantis the candidate who can bring the party back together again, on the one hand to prevent the flight of the Trumpists, and on the other to foster greater integration and influence of this moderate wing.
It is a strong indicator of DeSantis’ great possibilities that the most pro-democratic and influential American media, namely The Washington Post and The New York Times, have dared to predict a “landslide victory” for the Florida governor if he were to face off in 2024 in a duel for the White House with current President Joe Biden.
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