Ron DeSantis's COVID bungling has ‘changed the game in Florida’ and could hand Dems a win: expert
Ron DeSantis of Florida speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo by Gage Skidmore

Gov. Ron DeSantis' leadership on COVID-19 has been so poor that political experts now believe the state is competitive for Democrats.

Speaking to MSNBC's Dr. Jason Johnson, standing in for Nicolle Wallace on Wednesday, Democratic pollster Fernand Amandi explained that there is nothing good happening in DeSantis' latest polling numbers.

"Things are looking really bad for him," said Amandi. "I think you just touched on it. The biggest story in Florida is this notion that Emperor DeSantis has no clothes. Five days ago today, they issued a 48-hour threat to two Florida school districts. Within 48 hours or by Monday morning they did not rescind their mask mandates, they're going to issue punitive damages. What has happened since those threats were issued last week. Nine additional counties as the poll alluded to, 52 percent of students in the entire state of Florida are operating in districts with mask mandates and I think that's only the beginning."

He went on to predict that by the end of the week there will likely be even greater numbers of counties willing to buck the governor.

"I think that, more than anything else, speaks to the political weakness that this governor has chosen on an issue that's not only antiscience and against all medical advice, it is against all practical, political reasons to do this when parents overwhelmingly want to take every measure possible to protect their children from acquiring covid in the worse environment of covid that we have seen yet," said Amandi.

Johnson noted that DeSantis looks a lot weaker than he was six months ago. He wondered if it was inspiring action out of Democrats to mount a greater challenge to him. Amandi explained that strong Democrats are already up and running with statewide offices.

"You just touched on one of the open secrets in Florida's politics, the idea that the Democratic Party at the national level, even though they did not say out loud, had abandoned Florida. Not only Florida is competitive, it would be a foolish decision not to engage because you have both democratic contenders, Commissioner Nicky Freed and Val Demings, if that political reality happens, I think Florida is to take things if Democrats make the decision to invest now and say we can win this state based on DeSantis' incompetence and disaster mismanagement of this pandemic."

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