After President Joe Biden praised Governor Ron DeSantis’s leadership in the response to Hurricane Ian, CNN’s Steve Contorno speculated over the weekend that the move might have been the proverbial “kiss of death” to Crist’s campaign, in much the same way that Barack Obama hugged Crist and effectively ended his career as a Republican.
But the president’s praise did nothing of the sort. That’s because the contest is basically over already. Biden has seen the polling showing DeSantis up by a whopping 11 points in the Mason Dixon poll, an almost absurd lead by Florida standards. Now, a post hurricane poll by the Economist / YouGov shows that DeSantis’s job approval rating got a healthy boost from his handling of the storm.
And of course, President Biden is also keenly aware of DeSantis’s fundraising lead over Crist, which is equally absurd, by literally every standard in the history of politics. And it just keeps getting bigger. Last week, News Service of Florida even reported that the Seminole Tribe of Florida gave yet another million bucks to the Friends of Ron DeSantis political committee:
“The committee plays a key role in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ bid for re-election in November. DeSantis and the tribe last year negotiated a deal that included allowing the Seminoles to operate sports betting in the state. Lawmakers approved the deal, known as a compact, but a federal judge later blocked it. Also last week, the tribe contributed $1 million to the Protect Our Values Political Committee, which was formed in late August and had not reported spending any money as of Sept. 30, according to information on the state Division of Elections website.”
Meanwhile, Charlie Crist took advantage of the state’s campaign matching funds program, collecting $256,529, and pushing his overall matching-funds total to $2.66 million. But even through that program, Crist can’t gain an advantage over DeSantis, who received $211,111 on Sept. 30. And while that amount is slightly less than Crist’s, DeSantis has collected more over the long haul – nearly $6.14 million.