Question for Our Florida Readers About Gov. DeSantis

As many have pointed out, Ron DeSantis won the Florida Governor’s race in 2018 in a squeaker, 49.6%-49.2%, and in 2022 in a blowout, 59.4%-40%. What’s your sense, based on your knowledge of your fellow Floridians, of why this happened?

Note that I’m not asking here whether DeSantis is in reality a good governor, or whether he would make a good President, or the like. My question is why he’s been so politically successful, at least as reflected in this election result (though his real or perceived accomplishments could of course bear on that). Obviously, one possible answer is that Charlie Crist was just an awful opponent, in a way that Andrew Gillum was not; naturally, I’d love to hear about that. But I don’t want to prejudge the matter: I genuinely just want to get a sense, however impressionistic, of the secret of DeSantis’s political success.

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