Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has delivered his postmortem on the 2022 midterm elections and explained, convincingly, why he believes the party did not perform as well as expected.
In a press conference on Thursday, the Sunshine State governor was asked about national GOP political performances as former President Donald Trump remains in the headlines, but DeSantis did not take the bait.
Rather, he stuck to the issue of why he though the party didn’t overperform.
“You know, we assumed we were going to end up with like, 245 House members, we’re at 222 it looks like, which is a huge underperformance,” DeSantis said. “And so the question is, why did that happen?
“Because the way these midterms work, someone gets elected to the White House, and then there’s a reaction the other way, that’s what happens almost every two years and especially when people are pessimistic about the direction of the country, have a negative view on Biden, usually, those voters are going to want to vote for people that are offering an alternative,” he continued.
“And yet some of those voters throughout the country, not in Florida, but throughout the country, even though they disapproved of Biden, even though they disapproved of the direction of the country,” DeSantis continued. “They still didn’t want to vote for some of our candidates.”
The popular GOP governor, who just won reelection by nearly 20 points, went on to say that GOP underperformed because the party was divided. He said the nationally, Republicans failed to use the same model Republicans in his state used — remaining laser-focused on exercising leadership, not bending in politically uncomfortable fights while taking on big challenges and remaining focused on “producing results.”
That strategy, he said, “ends up attracting more people to want to be on your team, and so that was not something that was happening throughout the rest of the country.”
WATCH: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) explains why Republicans underperformed in the midtermspic.twitter.com/Shd3itkppP
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) December 2, 2022
The governor’s 2022 analysis comes as a new survey from a leading conservative pollster found that he is now more popular within the GOP now than Trump.
“President Joe Biden and the Democrats’ woke agenda were, and remain, unpopular, but a series of tactical missteps by GOP campaigns, candidate quality issues, concerns over abortion in key races, and a focus on the past rather than the future of the Republican Party contributed to the GOP’s disappointing performance in the midterms,” said Amanda Iovino, Principal at WPA Intelligence, the firm that conducted the survey late last month.
“Americans are generally more aligned with Republicans’ policy priorities, but controversies surrounding President Trump and missed messaging opportunities turned off many GOP voters, Independents, and split-ticket voters who may have otherwise backed Republicans,” she added.