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Pressure Mounts for DeSantis in Florida: Second Shortest Odds for GOP Nomination

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:
Jul/22/2021

Covid-19 in Florida now accounts for 1 in 5 new cases in the US and there is a red tide crisis on the state's West coast.  This comes as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is looking to cement himself as the frontrunner in the 2024 Presidential race, presumably.

BetOnline still has him with double the odds of former US President Donald Trump to win the GOP nomination at +400.  Still, DeSantis is seen as a younger more wiley version of Trump.

But problems back home threaten to muck his path to Republican glory.

The Orlando Sentinel recently printed an editorial lambasting DeSantis for taking trips to the Texas border as well as attending fundraisers in California and Aspen in recent weeks, all while failing to address his own state's public health challenges.

“To save lives, he must start acting like Florida’s governor and less like he’s auditioning for Turning Point USA or Texas Gov. Greg Abbott or whatever Fox News host comes calling,” the editorial reads.

Christina Punshaw, a spokesperson for DeSantis, insisted the Governor is not neglecting Florida in favor of loftier national ambitions.

“Whenever Democrats and their media allies, like the Orlando Sentinel, cannot find anything legitimate to criticize Governor DeSantis about, they simply make things up,” Punshaw said in an email. “This is yet another example. To say the Governor is more focused on national politics than Florida politics is patently absurd and flies in the face of empirical evidence.”

DeSantis has been widely praised by Republicans for keeping the state's economy open much of the past year while Democrats blasted his laissez-faire approach to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The Florida Governor can indeed point to per capita COVID mortality below the national average while many cities that shuttered (i.e. Los Angeles and New York) fared far worse.

It remains to be seen whether the current surge in Covid cases will be long lasting and potentially derail DeSantis's Presidential ambitions.   He has brushed aside these concerns, claiming that this was a mere “seasonal” occurrence while predicting that cases would start declining in August.

“I told people months ago we would see higher prevalence because it's a seasonal virus and this is the seasonal pattern that it follows in the Sunbelt states, particularly in Florida,” he said.

The increase in hospitalizations due to Covid has prompted the Governor to more aggressively push for vaccinations.

“If you are vaccinated, though, the number of people that end up hospitalized after is almost zero. It’s incredibly, incredibly low,” the governor told reporters at a bill signing Monday in central Florida.

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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