The DeSantis Campaign Is Rebooting Amid Worries It May Be too Late

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AP Photo/Eric Gay

If you look at the numbers, Ron DeSantis has faced some struggles so far in his campaign.

The Florida governor and current Republican presidential candidate has been stagnant in the polling and there have been numerous reports that the campaign is floundering. Some of those reports are suspiciously devoid of voices from the DeSantis campaign. It’s almost universally people who don’t like DeSantis or are working for an opponent’s campaign.

More recently, however, we’ve seen some changes in the campaign. There have been staffing moves and subtle messaging shifts in the wake of a good fundraising quarter. And, perhaps more importantly, we’ve seen DeSantis stretch his wings a bit with a sit-down interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, which may have been one of the best interviews of this campaign cycle.

It looks, however, like DeSantis is making two serious changes. The first is that people in his campaign appear to be more willing to talk to mainstream media outlets now, as evidenced by this NBC News story. The second is that his focus is shifting from less Florida-centric rhetoric to more American rhetoric, according to that same story.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign is planning a reboot, top campaign officials said, with a significant shift on messaging, events and media strategy.

Expect fewer big speeches and more handshaking in diners and churches.

There will be more of a national focus than constant Florida references.

And the mainstream media may start to get more access.

In short, DeSantis will be running as an insurgent candidate rather than as an incumbent governor.

DeSantis was a big and bold candidate when his campaign launched, but was immediately hit with issues, some of which could have been avoided. A non-traditional launch has the potential to be big and flashy, but it was a double-edged sword and put the launch in the hands of Twitter, not the campaign. The result was not great.

More recently, however, we’ve seen some changes in the campaign. There have been staffing moves and subtle messaging shifts in the wake of a good fundraising quarter. And, perhaps more importantly, we’ve seen DeSantis stretch his wings a bit with a sit-down interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, which may have been one of the best interviews of this campaign cycle.

It looks, however, like DeSantis is making two serious changes. The first is that people in his campaign appear to be more willing to talk to mainstream media outlets now, as evidenced by this NBC News story. The second is that his focus is shifting from less Florida-centric rhetoric to more American rhetoric, according to that same story.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign is planning a reboot, top campaign officials said, with a significant shift on messaging, events and media strategy.

Expect fewer big speeches and more handshaking in diners and churches.

There will be more of a national focus than constant Florida references.

And the mainstream media may start to get more access.

In short, DeSantis will be running as an insurgent candidate rather than as an incumbent governor.

DeSantis was a big and bold candidate when his campaign launched, but was immediately hit with issues, some of which could have been avoided. A non-traditional launch has the potential to be big and flashy, but it was a double-edged sword and put the launch in the hands of Twitter, not the campaign. The result was not great.

For a good many people on social media and in the press, the question remains: Is it too late?

I don’t think so. The fact of the matter is that we’re still way out from the first vote being cast. We’ll have some debates, sure, but it’s far too early to proclaim that anyone’s campaign is dead. He hasn’t seen any major dips in the polling. Some ups, some downs, but mostly steady. And with a good chunk of money, he can keep going for the moment. Sure, he needs to pick up his small-dollar donations, but he’s got no reason to worry.

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