A leaked audio clip from the secret DeSantis donor strategy meeting held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami on Thursday has surfaced, shedding light on key aspects of Governor Ron DeSantis’s campaign plans.
In the leaked audio obtained by Florida Politics, pollster Ryan Tyson can be heard addressing the donors, expressing enthusiasm about the level of recognition Governor DeSantis enjoys on a national scale.
Tyson’s remarks highlight the campaign’s satisfaction with DeSantis’s growing prominence and the positive impact it has had on his candidacy. He argued that his standing against former President Donald Trump will only improve over time.
“He’s known by as many Primary voters as the President is and he’s better liked,” Tyson said. “That’s the first problem that Donald Trump, I feel like, has in these Primaries. His negatives are too high. And I will also say this. The No. 1 most effective and efficient driver of Donald Trump’s negatives is Donald Trump.”
The audio clip reveals that Governor DeSantis stands firmly in favor of maintaining abortion decisions at the state level.
“His position is while he understands that there are ways that the federal government can be helpful to preserve life, the best way that you will preserve life is at the state level. He worries that if the federal government starts getting involved in it with abortion that it’s actually going to open up the door for Democrats to roll back pro-life reforms in many of the states across this country,” the strategist said.
This position is in line with conservative principles and reflects the sentiments shared by many Republicans across the nation. However, the recordings reveal a twist in DeSantis’s approach, indicating a potential shift toward the ‘middle’ during the general election.
“If your concern is in the general election… Trust me when I tell you this. It comes from empirical data and from qualitative feedback. If you are a voter in 2024… and if you are voting on the issue of abortion as one, of the top two issues for determining your vote for president. I would offer to you that our data suggests that that person has a very high correlation with typical Democrat voting behavior,” the strategist said.
The Governor’s advisors recognize the importance of appealing to a broader electorate and believe that adopting a more moderate tone could help solidify his chances of securing victory in a general election.
“So when you’re talking to a pro-choice donor, I don’t think just sort of go by and say, look, abortion is legal in Florida. It is legal in Florida. In most of situations when people have a situation unwanted or an unprotected sex situation, they’re going to use the chemical… fashion, right? So you can come right at them and say, it is legal in Florida. Now, it is limited. It’s limited. You have to be responsible about it. But I don’t think when you’re talking to pro-choice Florida, you sort of skip over it. You have to point out that this is a major step forward for the Republican Party in terms of moving to the middle on the abortion issue.”
The National Pulse has more on this discussion about the leaked audio.
You can listen to the full recording below. The abortion topic starts at 27 minutes to 39 minutes.