In Play And DeSantis Beats Trump?

I have yet to sit down and “game out” an Electoral College map for 2024. My Senate review/predictions to date have all been clearly denoted as preliminary and subject to change. That said, my thinking constantly evolves. Today I’ve got Florida on my mind.

I guess I’m naive, but I always thought the number one skill a judge needs to possess is judgement. The Florida Supreme Court just proved me to be incorrect (I’d prefer idealistic or naive) again.
The Florida Supreme Court ruled that Florida’s six week abortion ban would take effect in 30 days but that a ballot item that would enshrine the right to an abortion would be on the November ballot. So, in a month a Florida woman would have to have an abortion prior to six week – when few women even know they are pregnant – or carry the fetus to term. However, her right to an abortion may (and polling suggests will) be enshrined in the state’s constitution after the election. It would seem good judgment to me to have stayed the law pending the outcome of the balloting. Should the fetus result in a child of forced birth that child cannot be “returned to sender” if the Constitution is changed. But that is enough about the rulings for today; my focus is on its possible electoral impact.

If I would have done an electoral college forecast last week I would have placed Florida’s 30 electoral votes in Donald Trump’s column. That is a huge deal because I don’t think Trump can get to the required 270 without them. If I did that forecasting today, I’d make Florida a tossup.

On the Senate side Republican incumbent Senator Rick Scott looked pretty solid to me prior to this week. If little else I thought he could ride Trump’s coattails. (Not that the two of them are best buddies by any stretch.) Now the existence of those coattails is very much in question. Today the two biggest things Scott has going for him are that the Florida Democratic Party isn’t the strongest state Democratic Party (I’m being kind) and that the Democrats don’t seem to have a “first round draft choice” caliber candidate, so far at least. With the race looking more winnable I wouldn’t rule out one “coming off the sidelines”.

If you think all that is strange, here comes my nerdy moment.
Could Ron DeSantis end up defeating Trump after all? Let that sink in for a moment before you dismiss it.

DeSantis laid an egg in the primary. However, he was a major driving force behind the six week ban. He signed the bill into law. He certainly could have vetoed it. The Democrats don’t have a great GOTV machine in the Sunshine state but DeSantis may well have effectively, if unintentionally, given them one.

Many women and male feminists are enraged in the wake of Dobbs and related Republican actions. These will be major motivations to get them off the couch. Many normally likely Republican voters may well support pro-choice candidates. A few voters are fooled but most aren’t; Trump and Scott are not among the pro-choice candidates and they are high on the ballot where persuadable voters are still paying attention, not just casting votes for familiar names or out of party loyalty.

There is a political lifetime between now and Election Day but for the Democrats the sun may well be rising in the Sunshine State and Republican Governor Ron DeSantis may be the catalyst.

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