DeSantis Is In, What History Suggests About Trump’s Chances & Florida’s Election Law – Top 3 Takeaways – May 25th, 2023
- It’s official. Desantis’ presidential bid and a looming Republican primary battle with Trump has the potential to be every bit as brutal as the general election. The Republican Primary battle for president was always going to be one unlike we’ve seen in quite some time. And for most of us ever. That’s because the last time there was a former president, who ran for president, was Herbert Hoover in 1940. Spoiler alert. It didn’t end well for him. But also, because this isn’t just any former President, it’s Donald Trump – a personality and a former president that’s historically unique. For the better part of two years the biggest question wasn’t about whether Trump would run but whether Ron would run. The questions were essentially answered in November when news was first released that he’d be releasing a memoir in February entitled: The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival. As I said at the time: Personal memoirs being published aren’t at all unusual with notable figures. Personal memoirs published by 44-year-olds are much more so. Personal memoirs published by a 44-year-old who will just be starting a second term as governor would qualify as highly unusual (as in it probably has never happened before). And then there’s the title and the premise. The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival. Now maybe DeSantis is hoping that Americans will read it and decide to implement the blueprint themselves. Possible. Maybe it’s that he intends to illustrate what he intends to run on as a platform for president. At this point that feels probable. Given the inevitability of it all for quite a while the biggest and really only surprise was the official announcement taking place in an interview with Elon Musk on Twitter. That’s even true of how Trump intends on handling him as Florida’s governor was first referred to as “DeSantimonious” the weekend before November’s elections. So, this Republican primary race is now official, but it feels like it’s already been underway for quite some time. And as for how it will turn out? Right now, none of us know. But here’s something to keep in mind. Back to the Hoover reference for a moment.
- History is not on Trump’s side. Yes, Donald Trump is the odds on favorite to win the Republican nomination right now. No, history hasn’t been favorable to former presidents who attempt a comeback. Six former presidents preceding Donald Trump have attempted comebacks after leaving the presidency – Martin Van Buren, Millard Fillmore, Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, and Herbert Hoover. Only one, Grover Cleveland in 1892, was successful. In fact, the other five not only didn’t win back the presidency, but they also didn’t win their party’s nomination either. If Trump is to become the next President of the United States, he’ll have to do what no other Republican has done before – twice. First by winning the party primary and then by winning the general. He’s successfully defied history previously but he’ll have to do it again in order to win. Aside from political polls and conventional wisdom seemingly suggesting Donald Trump is a prohibitive favorite, using history as guide, the race is likely starting out much closer than it currently appears. And it’s likely something Ron knows. He’s a student of history. And not just any student of history. Ron DeSantis was once AP US History student of the year. No kidding. The polls and general perception of the race out of the gate is on Trump’s side, however history is not. Oh, by the way and related to all of this...
- Florida has a new election law. But while lion’s share of the focus on the Election’s bill has been on the impact for DeSantis’ presidential aspirations because of the need to replace Florida’s previous resign-to-run-law with what is in the new one, the impact of the new law for Floridians is significant as well as there are six key changes to Florida’s current election law which are part of it. They are... 1) Those voting for the first time in Florida who have yet to obtain a state-issued ID or have yet received a Social Security number, must vote in person. 2) Every 3rd party voter registration organization will be required to reregister with the state for every cycle they participate in and must turn in all voter registration applications within 10 days (down from 14). 3) Mandatory education on signature analysis for those involved in the signature verification process for vote-by-mail ballots. 4) Those working polls gain new protections as it's now a 3rd degree felony to intimidate, threaten, coerce or harass an election worker. 5) All legally required public notices may now be published online on official websites. 6) Reforms the timeline for campaign finance reporting and raises the penalty for violations from a maximum of $1,000 to $2,500. And now that it’s all a done deal we know DeSantis will be one of two things on January 20th, 2025. Florida’s governor for two more years or President of the United States for at least four. They both certainly beat being unemployed, which is what one of those scenarios would have been preceding the signing of the Elections bill.