(NationalUSNews.com) — GOP presidential candidate and Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis is being mocked online for a viral video in which the Republican official seems nervous concerning questions about his faltering presidential campaign. DeSantis awkwardly smiles, clenches his jaw, and fidgets in the video after being asked about the upcoming GOP debate on August 23rd.
Never Back Down, the PAC that supports DeSantis, accidentally leaked a memo regarding the upcoming debate, that lays out a strategy for DeSantis to use during his debate performance. Among the suggested actions for DeSantis are defending Donald Trump from other candidates’ attacks and criticizing Vivek Ramaswamy.
DeSantis’s campaign is losing momentum, with Ramaswamy gaining popularity rapidly amongst GOP voters, seemingly the reason for DeSantis’s PAC suggesting the Florida official focus on weakening Ramaswamy’s image. Another course of action the memo suggests is criticizing President Joe Biden numerous times while discussing DeSantis’s national vision. DeSantis is unlikely to abide by the memo’s recommendations, especially now that the memo is featured heavily in national news coverage. The viral video of DeSantis could spell the end of his presidential campaign, which is suffering heavy setbacks in terms of performance and popularity among voters.
Since announcing his presidential campaign in May, DeSantis regularly polls as the second most popular GOP candidate, trailing behind Donald Trump. However, DeSantis’s lead over other candidates is weakening, as he’s now tied with Ramaswamy for the runner-up position. DeSantis’s declining campaign has several factors affecting his performance, including the potential loss of essential donors and the GOP official’s staunchly conservative platform, which alarms moderate and independent voters. Despite his decline in popularity, DeSantis could return to a substantial lead over other GOP candidates if he salvages his campaign with a strong performance at the first Republican debate.
Even if he returns to his position as the second most popular candidate, DeSantis still must compete with Donald Trump for the GOP nomination. Trump maintains a strong lead over DeSantis by 23 points and remains the most popular Republican running in the upcoming election. Despite his criminal charges and refusal to participate in the debates, Trump remains the GOP candidate most likely to secure the party’s nomination for next year’s presidential election.
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