The Republican Governors Association is launching a television ad across the state in an effort to boost support for Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The ad is set to air in 10 Florida media markets on Sunday during the show 60 Minutes, which is set to investigate allegations that DeSantis made decisions about COVID vaccine distribution favoring wealthy or connected individuals, including supermarket chain Publix, which recently donated to the Governor’s political committee.
The ad comes early — more than a year and a half out from the gubernatorial election in 2022 — a move that has Democrats thinking the Governor may be in a vulnerable spot.
“If Ron DeSantis has done so well with COVID-19, why is the RGA desperately running TV ads to protect him more than a year and a half out from an election?” said Sam Newton, Democratic Governors Association Deputy Communications Director, in a news release. “Ron DeSantis can try to claim victory over the pandemic, but the truth is he has put politics above public health and the economy at every turn. Instead of trying to hide behind TV ads, DeSantis should explain why he continues to give vaccines to political donors and allies first, while hurting the rest of Florida.”
DeSantis came under fire earlier this year for allegedly prioritizing his donors and political allies for vaccines. This prompted calls for investigation by several prominent Democrats, including from potential 2022 opponent and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.
However, despite the criticism DeSantis has received from his vaccine rollout, the odds currently place him in a good position against Fried.
According to a recent Mason Dixon poll, Fried faces long odds in a hypothetical General Election face-off against DeSantis, who has emerged as a star of the conservative movement. But she continues to say that she is mulling the race and that many people are offering encouragement.
The poll shows DeSantis in an early position to win reelection against either Fried or possible candidate Rep. Charlie Crist next year. DeSantis is favored over Democrat Fried 51% to 42%, and over Democrat Crist 52% to 41%.