Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Maybe Hold off on Picking New Curtains, Gov. Gaetz

If Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is convinced of one thing, it's how amazing Matt Gaetz is. We suppose it's not too surprising he's developed an ego as big as his forehead, since he represents a ruby-red district where he wins every election in a walk, and since he surrounds himself with sycophants.

Gaetz could easily stay in the House for the next 30 years, and be a thorn in the side of the next ten speakers. However, people like him are not content to stay put; he most certainly looks in the mirror every morning and sees a future U.S. president. Of course, people do not often go straight from the House to the White House, so Gaetz' plan was a pit stop in the Florida governor's mansion. He said, several months ago, that he's "100% committed" to a run in 2026, when Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) will be term-limited.

The Representative might want to rethink that plan. A new poll from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) reveals that Floridians, on the whole, do not think too highly of their black-sheep congressman. According to FAU, a mere 12% of them strongly approve of Gaetz, while 9% somewhat approve, for a total of 21% who view him (at least somewhat) positively. By contrast, 46% strongly disapprove and 11% somewhat disapprove, for a total of 57% who view him (at least somewhat) negatively. That puts him 38 points underwater. You don't win many elections when you're that unpopular. And it's worth noting that even among Republicans, he's basically even (36.6% approve, 36.3% disapprove), so he might not survive the GOP primary, if he does run.

It's a little early to say for certain, but between this and the sharp decline in Ron DeSantis' polling numbers we wrote about yesterday, it sure looks like Floridians are tiring of the sort of politics practiced by these kinds of Republicans. Do either DeSantis or Gaetz care one whit about making the lives of Floridians better? It certainly does not look that way. No, it looks like they are solely interested in using the powers and the trust voters have invested in them in order to promote their own brand, often literally at the expense of the state's taxpayers.

If Floridians have indeed soured on Republicans of this ilk, well, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) is up next year, and he's another in the Gaetz/DeSantis mold. He also has a history of winning elections by very narrow margins. Should the state's voters be looking for more work horses, and fewer show horses, then next year's U.S. Senate race could get very interesting.

The Democrats will probably nominate former representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. She is a Latina who was born in Ecuador and came to the U.S. at 14. If all the Latinos and Latinas and women in Florida decide they have had it with Scott, she could be a serious contender. (Z)

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