Florida governor Ron DeSantis launched his first television ad of the 2024 presidential campaign this week, touting his “proven record of results in Florida” as he seeks to reorient his political trajectory ahead of a trio of key early-voting contests.
Entitled “Fight. Win. Lead.,” the thirty-second spot highlighted DeSantis work on three issues: Evacuating Americans stranded in Israel, rebuilding the Sunshine State following Hurricane Ian and dispatching troops to the U.S.-Mexican border, which remains in a state of crisis.
All three items involve national themes … buttressing DeSantis’ objective of painting himself as an effective commander-in-chief.
“No leader in the country has a stronger record of securing victories for the conservative movement than Ron DeSantis,” his campaign manager James Uthmeier said. “From sending planes to Israel to bring Americans home to safety, to rebuilding bridges in the days following a hurricane, there is no better leader in a time of crisis. Ron DeSantis will fight for the American people, win, and lead our great comeback.”
Here is the spot …
(Click to view)
DeSantis’ ad will “air on broadcast and cable television across Iowa starting Thursday,” according to a news release from his campaign. That is early than “originally planned,” the release noted, citing DeSantis’ “strong fundraising pace in the fourth quarter.”
It is not immediately clear how much money DeSantis will put behind the buy – or when his campaign will start spending money on advertising in New Hampshire and South Carolina.
A 44-year-old Jacksonville native, DeSantis served as a lawyer for the U.S. Navy and an assistant U.S. attorney prior to entering politics. A magna cum laude graduate of Yale (and star outfielder on the Bulldogs’ baseball team), DeSantis went on to attend Harvard law school – where he graduated cum laude.
He was elected to the state’s staunchly GOP sixth congressional district in 2012 and reelected in 2014 and 2016. DeSantis won the Sunshine State’s GOP primary in 2018 thanks to support from Trump – and edged Democrat Andrew Gillum in the general election by roughly 30,000 votes (out of 8.1 million ballots cast).
DeSantis made a name for himself during the Covid-19 pandemic, aggressively challenging federal mandates and moving to reopen the Sunshine State for business faster than almost any other state in America. He also endeared himself to social conservatives by challenging über-liberal Disney in the nation’s escalating culture wars.
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DeSantis stormed out of the gates heading into the 2024 election cycle, but the serial indictments of Donald Trump galvanized GOP support for the former president – while the Florida governor has seen his standing amongst GOP voters wane (both nationally and in critical early voting states).
Trump is now the presumptive Republican presidential nominee while DeSantis has seen his status as the undisputed No. 2 in the race challenged by, among others, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley.
According to the latest aggregate polling data from RealClearPolitics, Haley leads DeSantis is early-voting New Hampshire and South Carolina – and is nipping at his heels in Iowa. In fact, one recent Iowa poll showed Haley tied with DeSantis in Iowa.
For now, though, DeSantis’ television spots are focused on touting his record – not attacking other candidates. But that could change if the “Haley surge” described by Erickson persists. And depending on how the needles move among GOP primary voters ahead of some pivotal early-voting contests – including one right here in the Palmetto State.
Iowa is currently scheduled to hold its Republican presidential caucus on January 15, 2024. New Hampshire is expected to follow with its “First in the Nation” primary eight days later (January 23, 2024). Next up would be a GOP caucus in Nevada on February 8, 2024 followed by South Carolina’s “First in the South” Republican presidential primary on February 24, 2024.
As of this writing, Trump enjoys massive leads in each one of those states …
DeSantis’ ads tout him as being the candidate poised to “lead America’s comeback,” but he will have to embark upon a remarkable campaign comeback for that to happen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven (soon to be eight) children.
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