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Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor seeking the Republican nomination for president, has the support of more than 20% of GOP voters, according to polls. Many of these voters are long-time supporters of Donald Trump who see DeSantis as a more effective champion for their causes, such as pandemic restrictions, schools and gender issues. However, DeSantis has yet to recover from a drop in the polls this spring, and Trump still averages over 50% support in national polls of Republican voters. Some Republicans at DeSantis events have been blunt about why they still find Trump more appealing. DeSantis is emphasizing themes such as the “culture fight of our time” playing out in classrooms, businesses and other arenas, and is preparing to roll out national policy proposals on the border, economy, crime and other issues. His self-described “war on woke” in Florida has included banning “diversity, equity and inclusion” programs at public colleges, barring gender-affirming care for minors, and rejecting an Advanced Placement African American history course over its coverage of topics such as “Black Queer Studies.”

“I’m talking about cutting taxes, people go like that,” he said at a recent speech in North Carolina, mimicking a dutiful clap. “I talk about transgender, everyone goes crazy! Who would have thought?”

Democrats and some civil rights advocates are expressing concerns about the movement DeSantis has built with policies and rhetoric targeting minority groups such as Muslims and Mexican immigrants, similar to those of Trump. Shevrin Jones, a Black Democrat who in 2020 became the first openly gay member of the Florida Senate, said DeSantis “has gotten his rise off of going after marginalized people and beating down on marginalized people.”

Heather McLean, a nurse from Iowa, called DeSantis a “mini-Trump” and expressed concern that his policies could hurt her gay and transgender friends.

Recent polls have shown that DeSantis is not far behind Trump in popularity among Republicans with higher education or income levels. However, Trump still holds a strong grip on self-identified “strong” Republicans and working-class GOP voters who were energized by him in 2016. Despite this, DeSantis has pointed to his nearly 20-point reelection win as proof that he can attract voters beyond the GOP’s base, with strong leads among traditionally Democratic-leaning groups such as Hispanic voters and women.

DeSantis has focused on the Republican Party’s right flank, enacting some of the most conservative legislation in the country on issues such as immigration, abortion, and education. He has also emphasized issues that resonate with voters like McManus.

After McManus referenced a video of a fairy godmother’s assistant, a pro-DeSantis super PAC included it in a video accusing Disney of “pushing radical ideas on our children.” The same clip was also featured in a seven-figure ad buy the PAC launched in Iowa and South Carolina.

DeSantis supporters are impressed by his combative style and the enemies he has made, including the media, liberal governors, and Disney. Voters at GOP conventions have praised his willingness to take on powerful entities, with one North Carolina physician saying, “I love the way he fights.” DeSantis’s efforts to strip special privileges from Disney have been criticized by Republican rivals, but they are a reliable applause line at his events. Some attendees have shared stories of feeling uncomfortable with “woke” entertainment on Disney Plus, such as a same-sex kiss in the Toy Story spinoff “Lightyear.”

DeSantis’s combative style and willingness to take on powerful entities such as the media, liberal governors, and Disney have impressed his supporters. His efforts to strip special privileges from Disney have been criticized by Republican rivals but are a reliable applause line at his events. Some attendees have shared stories of feeling uncomfortable with “woke” entertainment on Disney Plus, such as a same-sex kiss in the Toy Story spinoff “Lightyear.” DeSantis’s approach to LGBTQ+ issues in schools has also won him supporters, with some objecting to young children learning about transgender identities. One attendee in Iowa expressed concern about his daughter coming back from college identifying as a man.

The issue of LGBTQ+ education in schools has been a controversial topic in recent years, with some parents and community members objecting to the inclusion of such topics in the curriculum. Supporters argue that it is important for young people to learn about different identities and experiences in order to promote understanding and acceptance.

Opponents, like the individuals mentioned in the article, argue that such education is inappropriate for young children and can lead to confusion or even promote a certain lifestyle. They believe that parents should have the final say in what their children learn about these topics.

Governor DeSantis has taken a stance on this issue, which has won him support from some individuals like Heather Buzzo and Geno Foral. However, his stance may also be controversial among those who believe that all students should have access to comprehensive education that includes diverse perspectives and experiences.

Ultimately, the debate over LGBTQ+ education in schools is ongoing and complex, with valid arguments on both sides. It is up to each community to determine what is best for their students and families.

Governor DeSantis's response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a significant factor in his support among some voters. Many of his backers believe that his approach was a "beacon of hope" amid other states' overreactions and that it showed that "you do not have to be afraid of this." They view his decision to lift shutdowns and capacity limits on businesses and schools sooner than many other governors as a courageous move.

However, Governor DeSantis's handling of the pandemic has also drawn criticism, particularly for his opposition to mask and vaccine mandates. Some argue that his policies have contributed to the high number of COVID-19 related deaths in Florida.

Overall, Governor DeSantis's response to the pandemic remains a controversial topic, with both supporters and critics voicing their opinions. As the pandemic continues to impact communities across the country, it is likely that this issue will remain relevant in political discourse.

Many voters who support Ron DeSantis share a common sentiment: "I like Trump, but..." According to Steve Van Veen, a 50-year-old shopper at a Walmart in Pella, Iowa, DeSantis would be a "fresher" version of Trump, but with a lower-key approach. Connor Barry, a voter in his early 30s from Bedford, N.H., believes that Trump is more about chaos, and that it's time to get more serious. DeSantis adviser Ryan Tyson quoted a focus group participant who said that DeSantis is like Donald Trump without the crazy. For Ron De Weerd, a resident of Rock Valley, Iowa, the difference between the two comes down to personality. Although DeSantis doesn't have the same charisma as Trump, De Weerd is committed to him after hearing him speak in an interview with Newsmax. He appreciated that DeSantis had a plan and didn't resort to name-calling, and even gave Trump credit for his past work.

n interviews with The Washington Post, several supporters of DeSantis did not express the same level of unwavering loyalty to him as Trump has garnered. Rather, some viewed DeSantis as the most viable alternative to Trump.

Van Veen, a DeSantis supporter, stated that he would have supported Trump if it weren't for his rhetoric.

While Trump's recent federal indictment has raised concerns among some voters about his ability to win the general election, polling indicates that the majority of Republicans still support him. Margeaux Holland, who attended the North Carolina GOP convention following Trump's charges, suggested that his opponents are attempting to wear down his supporters.

DeSantis and his supporters are attempting to appeal to more Trump supporters by questioning his ability to win back the White House. They argue that he is less conservative on key issues and question why he did not fire Fauci, his former coronavirus adviser, or complete the promised southern border wall. However, many of the Trump voters who are open to DeSantis found reasons to dismiss these criticisms.

Claris Hamlin, a South Carolina voter, expressed her belief that Trump would have completed the border wall proposal if he had more time.

In summary, the article discusses how Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is positioning himself as a potential alternative to former President Donald Trump in the 2024 Republican presidential primary. Some DeSantis supporters view him as a viable alternative to Trump, citing fatigue with Trump's rhetoric and concerns about his ability to win the general election. However, many Trump supporters remain loyal to the former president and are still undecided about whether to support DeSantis. The article also highlights some of DeSantis's conservative policies and his handling of the pandemic in Florida, which have drawn support from some voters. The upcoming primary elections will provide more clarity on the level of support for DeSantis among Republican voters.10:26 PM

طلحة عبد الكريم
By : طلحة عبد الكريم
مدير و محرر مدونة الموقع التقني.