Live After Quit

“Rejected by Moderates and MAGA: How DeSantis’s Support Has Shrunk

The story of Ricardo DeSantis and his landmark political coalition is a cautionary tale that seems to have gone unnoticed in the media glare of the 2020 election cycle. After making headlines earlier this year, DeSantis’ diverse coalition of moderates, traditional Republicans, and MAGA supporters has quickly faded into obscurity. DeSantis initially burst onto the political scene in June 2020, when he announced his presidential campaign alongside a broad-based coalition of both traditional Republicans and MAGA supporters. This coalition, dubbed the “DeSantis Alliance,” sought to unify the Republican Party following the divisive 2016 primary season. It was built largely around DeSantis’ unique platform which blended fiscal conservatism, limited government, and populist economic policy. Though the DeSantis Alliance was initially met with optimism from both sides of the aisle, it didn’t take long for the coalition to begin to fracture. Traditional Republicans accused DeSantis of pandering to the MAGA wing of the party, while many MAGA supporters viewed DeSantis as a moderate who wouldn’t pursue their hardline positions. Ultimately, the schism resulted in the dissolution of the DeSantis Alliance. On July 24, 2020, DeSantis announced the end of his presidential campaign, citing his inability to garner sufficient support from either Republicans or MAGA supporters. Since then, DeSantis’ brief and ill-fated attempt at cross-party cooperation has been confined to the realm of political trivia. Though it initially created a great deal of excitement, the DeSantis Alliance has since entered a kind of political quarantine from which it is unlikely to emerge. Though it may have been star-crossed, the saga of the DeSantis Alliance nevertheless serves as a valuable lesson in the difficulty of unifying a divided party. In today’s polarized climate, even the most well-intentioned political overtures may be met with hostility and ultimately lead to political failure.