Since his victory in Florida’s 2018 gubernatorial election, Ron DeSantis has been widely seen as a rising star for the Republican Party. The Trump-backed candidate’s pro-business policies and unwavering loyalty to President Donald Trump earned him the support of moderates and pro-Trump MAGA conservatives alike.
However, post-election DeSantis’s popularity has begun to deflate as both camps that worked to put him in office are beginning to turn their backs on him. Moderates, including former Governor Rick Scott, have accused him of being too close with the president and being too hostile to business. Meanwhile, MAGA conservatives have expressed frustration with DeSantis’s lack of enthusiasm for issues they care about, such as defunding the police.
It appears that the once confident coalition that helped propel DeSantis into office has started to break apart, leaving him with fewer advocates and further away from his original goal of “One Florida”. In order to stay in the spotlight, DeSantis will need to find a way to bridge the gap between moderates and MAGA conservatives, lest he continue to see his approval ratings plummet.