DeSantis Paved His Florida Victory with 5 Strategic Moves

On November 8, 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis pulled off a historic re-election victory, securing nearly 60% of the vote and becoming the first Republican governor in Florida to win with a majority in over twenty years. His success is attributed to five primary contributing factors, including his firm stance on open state pandemic policies, his insistence on parental rights in children’s education, his moderate stance on abortion, his staunch opposition to “woke” companies, and his appeal to minority and anti-Trump Republicans.

Open State Pandemic Policies

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has become popular among Floridians for his steadfast refusal to impose mask mandates and vaccine requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding that most Florida businesses depend on the tourism industry, DeSantis believed keeping the state open and reducing business-killing restrictions was necessary. While his decisions may have seemed irresponsible to some in the early days of the outbreak, DeSantis found success in showing his willingness to stand up for personal freedoms, prioritize senior health safety, and fight to keep businesses open during a trying time.

Parental Rights in Children’s Education

Although the public and opposition party members criticized DeSantis for signing the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, he has won massive support from Floridian parents for his efforts to prioritize parental rights and education choice. This bill requires public schools to allow parents to make decisions about their children’s curriculum, textbooks, and online instruction without interference from the state government. By giving parents a say in their children’s education, DeSantis has set an example of how he will prioritize the needs of Floridian families. At the same time, keeping sexual orientation and gender identity out of young student curricula is another way DeSantis has protected parents from unwanted teaching influences.

Moderate Stance on Abortion

In a historic move, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a 15-week abortion ban – legislation that he called the “most significant protections for life” to be enacted in the state “in a generation” – even before the Supreme Court decided to overturn Roe v. Wade. This milestone comes on the heels of Tuesday’s election, where Florida voters “rejected pro-abortion extremist Charlie Crist” and stood with DeSantis, who promised during his campaign to stand against abortion practices in the state.

Staunch Opposition to “Woke” Companies

In the past, many governors have been hesitant to oppose the policies of large corporations, but DeSantis has made it a point to stand up to businesses that attempt to mix politics with their operations. From his fight against Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District over the Parental Rights in Education law to cutting funding for a Tampa Bay Rays spring training facility due to an anti-gun partnership, the Sunshine State’s top politician has sent a clear message: business should stay out of politics.

Appeal to Minority and Anti-Trump Republicans

Ron DeSantis achieved an astonishing victory in Florida’s gubernatorial race, winning by a substantial margin and outperforming political expectations. Most notably, he won big in Miami-Dade County, which largely rejected his candidacy and MAGA platform four years ago. Despite being significantly outspent by his opponent, DeSantis ran an effective campaign that resonated with voters across Miami-Dade County. This victory illustrates that a MAGA candidate without the political baggage Trump carries could deliver landslides to Republicans.

His re-election reflects his strength to reach beyond traditional conservative support bases to win over minorities and independents who were previously skeptical about the Republican party’s message. Only time will tell if DeSantis establishes himself as the leader of the GOP and what changes he brings to the party.

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