Do Floridians owe Donald Trump a ‘thank you?’
Donald Trump is itching to get on the campaign trail. Image via AP.

trump cpac
Without him, we might have had Gov. Gillum.

If former President Donald Trump had not endorsed Ron DeSantis for Governor four years ago, we’d be three-and-a-half years into the Andrew Gillum administration.

There was a time when a Gov. Gillum was seen as likely. Polls in the lead-up to Election Day consistently showed him with the edge over DeSantis.

Some of them made the outcome seem inevitable. Quinnipiac, for those who don’t remember, released a poll showing Gillum up by a touchdown the day before the election.

But DeSantis managed the upset — and make no mistake, it was an upset. DeSantis may be a rising star today, but five years ago he was a backbencher Congressman who polled two points behind Carlos Lopez Cantera in the race to succeed U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

When he filed for Governor, he was considered little more than a pre-fight warmup for Adam Putnam.

Trump changed that with a tweet.

The DeSantis campaign took that endorsement and drove it until the wheels fell off in the Primary, even producing a TV ad where DeSantis repeats many of Trump’s catchphrases to his young children.

As Andrew Pollock put it on Twitter, “Had President Trump not come in big for @RonDeSantisFL, that corrupt scumbag (Gillum) would’ve been Governor of Florida.”

Sure, Republican Primaries are not General Elections. But Trump did more than offer an endorsement. He also showed up to campaign for DeSantis in person, headlining campaign rallies for him in the final stretch of the race.

Trump wasn’t setting presidential popularity records at the time (or ever) but his consistent, visible and vocal support helped DeSantis’ campaign overcome blunders that some thought would kill his campaign. Gillum had blunders, too — the seeds that led to his recent federal indictment had already started sprouting, but they were mostly brushed off.

The end result: DeSantis by about 32,000 votes.

It’s impossible to know how many Floridians turned out for DeSantis on Election Day because he was Trump’s man, but 32,000 would be a conservative estimate.

So, Donald Trump, thank you for saving Florida. Maybe.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


  • Impeach Biden

    June 24, 2022 at 6:09 am

    Gillum would have been a complete disaster for the state of Florida. Of course my newspaper, The Sun-Sentinel endorsed him in 2018. I don’t think that rag has ever endorsed a Republican. Keep Florida Red people.

  • Bill

    June 24, 2022 at 7:00 am

    Do we owe him a thank you? The second word might be a ‘you’ but the first wouldn’t be a ‘thank’

    • HT

      June 24, 2022 at 8:30 am

      Same to you!

  • Let's Not Forget

    June 24, 2022 at 7:39 am

    Soros dark money funded the Collective knife job in Gwen Graham’s back.

  • Alex Sink

    June 24, 2022 at 7:41 am

    With Andrew’s recent acknowledgment of sexual awakening, he will be very popular in prison.

  • Pamela

    June 24, 2022 at 8:00 am

    Thank you God for Ron DeSantis. He’s the safety net our whole country needs. He’s the face of hope for so many Americans. I am blessed enough to live in the state he governs but there are many people in other States that see a glimmer of hope for our Country because of him. No doubt Donald Trump is a smart man and saw a leader in DeSantis.

  • Jim

    June 24, 2022 at 8:14 am

    We will never know if Gillum would have been a “disaster for Florida.” But the evidence is everywhere that DeSantis has been and continues to be a disaster. The Florida Democrats could sure have done better than Gillum for a candidate, I’ll say that.

    • HT

      June 24, 2022 at 8:32 am

      We will never know?
      This I know, you’re a disaster!

    • Impeach Biden

      June 24, 2022 at 8:33 am

      How has DeSantis been a disaster? Where do you come up with this BS. Thousands flocked to Florida from Blue States during Covid because DeSantis kept the state open. Look at four shot, double masked Fauci. That midget still got Covid.

      • HT

        June 24, 2022 at 8:35 am


  • HT

    June 24, 2022 at 8:42 am

    Not only do owe President Donald J Trump a thank you for saving Florida, but for saving the entire country during his 4 years in office. Also, we owe him an apology for allowing his land-slide victory in 2020 to be stolen from him right under our noses.
    Are you reading this RINO’S?

  • Bj Swinford

    June 24, 2022 at 9:28 am

    Donald Trump- best real President since Ronald Reagan. Ron DeSantis best Governor I have ever known!! Thank you to both !

  • Mark

    June 24, 2022 at 9:54 am

    DeSantis won by 0.4% – Thank God. Yes we owe a thank you directly to Donald Trump. As unlikeable as Trump may be to some when on stage, he is a cordial gentleman in person and in my long lifetime I have never seen a more productive four year presidency.

    • Impeach Biden

      June 24, 2022 at 10:11 am

      Yes the good ol days. Fuel was cheap, inflation was non existent, we had control of the Southern Border, Putin was behaving himself, and the 401k was not a 201k. Yes I miss the good ol days. Trump was an ass but he was our ass.

Comments are closed.


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