Will Ron DeSantis lose his re-election bid in Florida for the same reason former President Donald Trump may have lost the 2020 presidential election?
New polling data shows that DeSantis has dropped one point behind Democrat challenger and former governor Charlie Crist, although the result is within the poll’s margin of error.
DeSantis has been generally popular as governor of Florida, but is now facing criticism for not doing more to slow COVID cases that have surpassed previous pandemic highs in the state due to the highly contagious delta variant. Similarly, it is speculated that Trump would have easily won re-election if not for the pandemic’s onset in March 2020, which put him in the same lose-lose situation DeSantis finds himself in.
DeSantis is correct not to encroach on people’s liberties with mandates on wearing masks and vaccine requirements, but it seems that the majority of Americans are now willing to give up their liberties to feel more safe from COVID, even if that safety is largely an illusion.
Crist taking advantage
Crist is capitalizing on people’s fear and desire for safety in the same way the Democrat Party and its figurehead Joe Biden did during the 2020 election cycle.
“We don’t have leadership,” Crist accused, faulting DeSantis for going to the border in Texas while the delta variant rages in his state.
“What’s he [DeSantis] doing about it? He’s going to Texas. He goes to the border. Texas. You’re the governor of Florida, you know,” Crist said. “He doesn’t understand. And you know he’s spending our tax dollars out there, giving our law enforcement to Texas while people are dying in Florida. Unbelievable.”
Never mind that ICE and Border Patrol under Biden are letting large numbers of COVID-infected migrants across the border in Texas and releasing them into the country. Maybe it does make sense for DeSantis to help Texas round up migrants and contain them.
Furthermore, while cases are higher than ever before, deaths are around 60 per day, which is just a third of what they were at the peak in January.
Is delta peaking?
The 7-day rolling average of cases in the state on Tuesday was 17,629; the peak in January was just under 16,000 cases. It is possible, however, that the delta variant may be peaking in the U.S., and if conditions in other countries like England and India repeat themselves in the U.S., virus cases will soon begin to fall as rapidly as they rose.
In both the U.K. and India, cases are now 50% to 80% lower than at their peak just weeks ago.
With the election more than a year away, the delta variant will be nothing but a memory in the state, so it’s entirely possible, if not likely, that the polls will change significantly before November 2022.