Once upon a time not too long ago — January, say — the sky looked like the limit for Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential ambitions.
Not only had DeSantis crushed it in the 2022 midterms — winning a second term in the governor’s mansion by nearly 20 points after only narrowly beating Andrew Gillum in 2018 and turning deep blue areas of the Sunshine State Republican red — his chief opponent, former President Donald Trump, decidedly did not.
In several key races, Trump’s candidates faltered. Anti-Trump Republicans were quick to blame the former president for losing the Senate — and they may not have been wrong, considering the underwhelming performance of Trump-endorsed candidates like Blake Masters in Arizona, Herschel Walker in Georgia and Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania. Polls showed DeSantis closing in on Trump, if not outright leading in some cases.
Then, as soon as the Ron wave started, it began