DeSantis’ 2023: More Than $160 Million Spent To Buy A Collapse In The Polls (S.V. Date, Dec 29, 2023, HuffPo)

[T]he gaffes, the internal squabbles and even his unwillingness to use the legal consequences of Trump’s behavior against him pale beside DeSantis’ fundamental flaw: his inability to get enough Republican primary voters to like him.

Polling shows that his numbers were strongest before he actively began campaigning for president in late May, and that the more voters saw of him, the less inclined they were to support him.

“The idea of ‘a’ DeSantis was appealing, but the reality of ‘the’ DeSantis was repellent,” said Mac Stipanovich, who served as chief of staff to Florida Republican Gov. Bob Martinez in the 1980s, and has been involved with GOP campaigns in the state for decades. “It is telling that his favorite president is Calvin Coolidge, the avatar of anti-charisma in politics.”

“When you come across as a mean person who shows little empathy for the real concerns for citizens, and who always wants to make sure everyone in every room knows you think you are the smartest person there, it doesn’t go over all that well,” said Steve Duprey, a former Republican National Committee member from New Hampshire. “Focusing on Disney, wokeness, a little hippie college in Sarasota, and an abortion ban out of sync with most of America, instead of on the economy, the debt, the border, isn’t a winning formula.”

“Other than that,” Duprey said, “he’s nailing it.”

Animatronic malignant dwarf was always going to be a tough cell.