Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

In case you’re something like me, the considered a rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump fills you with a mixture of apathy and dread.

That’s partly why I used to be hopeful to observe the controversy Thursday night time between two very totally different normal bearers for his or her respective events: Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Kudos to each governors for agreeing to the match hosted by Sean Hannity on Fox Information.

Even when they received’t be the highest candidates in 2024, the controversy supplied perception to what the longer term might maintain. In truth, the almost two-hour sparring match sounded extra like a presidential debate than two governors battling over their differing governing philosophies. Extra on that later.

Hannity billed the controversy as a red-state, blue-state showdown that promised to get to the guts of some urgent points, corresponding to taxes, the economic system, the border, vitality and crime – considerations Individuals frequently say they care most about.

And you actually can’t get any extra totally different in how two governors method these issues than Newsom and DeSantis.

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The governors do share a number of similarities: They govern two of essentially the most populous states within the nation, and they’re of their second phrases, after having been reelected by broad margins final fall. And, in contrast to Trump (77) and Biden (81), each are solidly below the age of 75 (DeSantis is 45; Newsom 56).

Aside from that, how they’re main their states is diametrically opposed.

Pink vs. blue in apply

Whereas this will likely have been their first face-to-face debate, the governors have lengthy taken pictures at each other. For example, Newsom has actively run adverts in Florida, selling California as a spot the place “we nonetheless imagine in freedom.”

Clearly, “freedom” means one thing totally different to Newsom than it does to DeSantis.

A giant purpose Newsom must attraction to Floridians is as a result of individuals are fleeing California and shifting to states… like Florida.

They’re leaving the Golden State in droves as a result of they’re looking for freedom of one other sort: decrease prices of residing, much less suffocating taxes and regulation, and a authorities that doesn’t attempt to increase their children for them.

Greater than ever, households are selecting the place to stay primarily based on a state’s politics and insurance policies.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and California Gov. Gavin Newsom debated one another Thursday night time on Fox Information.

The numbers converse for themselves. Based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2022 report on web home migration, Florida topped the checklist, gaining 318,855 individuals from different states. Texas and the Carolinas additionally noticed giant will increase.

Guess which state misplaced essentially the most? California. That state noticed essentially the most out-migration, dropping 343,230 of its residents. New York and Illinois weren’t far behind.

It’s not a coincidence that the states dropping the most individuals are blue states – and that these Individuals are discovering properties in crimson states.

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No shock, COVID was a subject of heated dialogue. Newsom and DeSantis contrasted vastly in how they ruled in the course of the pandemic, one thing DeSantis stresses typically. The Florida governor took the method of fewer restrictions and far shorter lockdowns, which allowed companies and colleges to open sooner than they did below Newsom’s management.

Regardless of their opposing ways, virus impacts within the two states had been almost similar. But in Florida, due to much less authorities interference, schoolchildren and the economic system fared considerably higher.

The governors tackled different points as nicely, from schooling to abortion.

DeSantis this yr signed into regulation a common faculty selection program that can give mother and father the choice to ship their youngsters to personal faculty or homeschool them, with monetary assist from the state. In the meantime, in California, personal faculty selection is nonexistent.

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DeSantis has taken loads of flak for a few of his different faculty agenda, which seeks to curb what colleges can train younger youngsters about sexual orientation and gender. But what he’s doing in Florida is centered on parental rights.

The other is true in California, the place mother and father are being faraway from selections their younger youngsters are making about their gender.

Abortion might show a weak point for DeSantis, who has signed a six-week ban in his state. Current elections have proven voters are involved about dropping abortion entry and have supported measures that enshrine reproductive rights into state constitutions. California was a kind of states, and Newsom has additional expanded abortion provisions.

Eyes on the White Home

Let’s be trustworthy. Each these governors have ambitions past their present jobs. They wish to be president.

Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks throughout a Republican presidential major debate hosted by NBC Information, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023, on the Adrienne Arsht Heart for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Miami. (AP Photograph/Rebecca Blackwell) ORG XMIT: FLRB401

DeSantis is at the moment jockeying for his get together’s nomination. And it’s no secret that Newsom is working a shadow marketing campaign if the chance had been to come up for him to take Biden’s place. Within the meantime, Newsom is standing in as a youthful, extra eloquent surrogate for the president. That’s what he did Thursday.

A yr in the past, DeSantis was coming off a decisive reelection win, and it appeared like he might give Trump a run for his cash. Right this moment, DeSantis’ ballot numbers have tanked, Trump is the clear front-runner, and the Florida governor is combating for second place within the major with former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

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Thursday’s debate was a possibility for DeSantis to once more present the nation the sort of chief he’s and his successes in Florida, other than the silliness of GOP major squabbles.

Possibly DeSantis can reclaim among the momentum he had early on by specializing in the financial points and freedoms which have attracted so many individuals to Florida – and the way he might use that blueprint to enhance the nation’s outlook.

And, after all, beat Biden.

Ingrid Jacques is a columnist at USA TODAY. Contact her at [email protected] or on X, previously Twitter: @Ingrid_Jacques

You’ll be able to learn various opinions from our Board of Contributors and different writers on the Opinion entrance web page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our day by day Opinion publication.

This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Who received DeSantis, Newsom debate? Freedom – and Florida

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