Ron DeSantis Could Be the Republican Candidate in the November Primary

Jackie Calmes: Ron DeSantis proves that cruetly is a Republican trait

For two years, Rick Scott and Donald Trump competed to be the most anti-gay GOP presidential frontrunner. The contest was hard-fought, with each trying to outpop the other. Eventually, it was Trump who emerged as the winner.

This year, as the campaign enters its final stretch, it’s the same story over again. In the primary calendar, there are no real frontrunning candidates, except one: Ron DeSantis, a Republican congressman from Florida. The former member of Congress went from being a long shot to potentially the Republican nominee in the primary, based on his endorsement by Trump in July and by the endorsement of Marco Rubio in September.

It didn’t happen because of Trump. He endorsed DeSantis as he endorsed his home-state senator, Bill Nelson, in the 2018 election, in the last days of the campaign. DeSantis’s victory in the general election is all but assured (if he can avoid Florida’s jungle primary), but he faces the challenge of being Trump’s nominee in a general election. And in a year where two major-party candidates have a record share of support from the electorate (Trump and Hillary Clinton), it could be a problem.

Ron DeSantis has been one of the most aggressive anti-LGBT figures in the Republican Party in recent memory, but he’s not alone. Across the country, candidates and members of the right-wing media and think tanks are promoting anti-LGBT policies and attitudes. It’s a trend many of their supporters could turn against them in November if they win.

“This is a candidate you can believe in. This is a candidate I can trust,” DeSantis said in an interview with the Intercept. “He’s a leader and he’s an experienced leader in this country in his district.” DeSantis’s message is that he is simply bringing order to a party he loves

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