Even if Trump loses, DeSantis is a winner

TALLAHASSEE — He wasn’t on the ballot, but Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday became one of the big winners of the 2020 presidential race.

The Donald Trump ally helped deliver the president’s must-win state and in the process cemented his own legacy as a leading “Make America Great Again” luminary.

And he might avoid the dicey prospect of running for reelection on the same ticket as a White House incumbent during a midterm after the president’s reelection was thrown into doubt this week.

“Florida’s results bode extremely well for Gov. DeSantis even in the unfortunate event that President Trump loses,” said state Rep. Byron Donalds, a Republican who was elected to a southwest Florida congressional seat Tuesday. “I think it lays the foundation for the governor’s reelection. I don’t see a Democrat on the horizon who is going to have an alternative who is better for Florida.”

Nick Iarossi, a Tallahassee lobbyist and DeSantis fundraiser, said that as Election Day approached, there was speculation that if Trump lost Florida, DeSantis would be blamed for not doing enough.

“I hope those same people are just as eager to share some credit with the governor for President Trump’s dominant win,” Iarossi said.