After embarrassing Gavin Newsom during Thursday night’s landmark debate, Ron DeSantis got right back to winning on policy on Friday.
In a big blow to Democrat electoral hopes, an appeals court has reversed a prior ruling finding that the governor’s congressional map, which changed Florida’s District 5 from a 200-mile-long racial gerrymander to something that makes sense proportionally. Democrats sued, claiming that the more consolidated district violated legal provisions on minority representation. The First District Court of Appeals in Florida has officially disagreed, upholding the originally-passed map. While this decision could end up in front of the Supreme Court, it’s highly unlikely, given the political makeup of the court, that they would disagree with the appeals court’s decision.
It’s important to note that this fight didn’t start with the judicial system. First, DeSantis had to browbeat his own party into not completely surrendering on redistricting before the 2022 election. As RedState reported, Republicans in the Florida legislature were set to essentially give away the state’s census gains, possibly forfeiting two to three House seats in the process. The governor wasn’t impressed and decided to engage in a months-long battle with GOP leadership in the state, eventually getting them to relent and allow him to put forth a map to vote on. It passed, and along with key victories in New York, Florida’s redone map delivered the majority to Republicans.
This latest legal victory is a direct result of DeSantis standing up and fighting when others wouldn’t. That’s to his credit, and has been a continual trend of his time in office. If you leave most Republicans to their own devices, they’ll fold almost every time. DeSantis doesn’t roll that way, and because of that, he has stacked win after win in what was formerly a very purple state.
Further, and most importantly, he may have just saved the House for the GOP in 2024. With a razor-thin margin already, made even thinner by the expulsion of George Santos, Republicans need every single seat they can get come election day. Saving even one seat in Florida could be the difference between Mike Johnson and Hakeem Jeffries as the Speaker of the House.
It depresses me to think of what could have been if a sizable chunk of the Republican Party hadn’t decided DeSantis needed to be destroyed for petty political reasons. We are watching an artist continue to paint his masterpiece, and to not have DeSantis at the forefront of the party in the future, even if he’s not the nominee in 2024, would be such a waste of generational talent. I sincerely hope he weathers this storm and Republicans, even if they prefer Trump for this election, come to their senses and understand the winner they have in their midst for the next one.