MEMO: Ron DeSantis “Reboot” Comparisons to John McCain In 2008 Not Based In Reality

August 03, 2023

TO: Interested Parties


FROM: Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita, Donald J. Trump for President 2024


DATE: August 3, 2023


RE: President Trump Dominates GOP Field, Trounces Biden in General Matchup 


According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of reboot is “to shut down and restart (a computer or program).”  It’s fitting that in the last week the word reboot followed by Ron DeSantis (or is it DEE-SAN TAS?) have appeared no fewer than a dozen times together, all across the country.  It seems that this particular robot, however, isn’t turning back on. 


Never mind the polling, which continues to show double digit leads for President Trump, and a continued slide in DeSantis’ numbers that puts him in jeopardy of losing second place in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. How do you gain momentum when you start the new week with this?



To make matters worse, the entire message of the DeSantis campaign, that he is “more electable” and only “he can defeat Joe Biden”, is crushed in the New York Times poll analysis:


“The ability to defeat Mr. Biden and to enact a conservative agenda is at the core of Mr. DeSantis’s appeal to Republicans….”


“Yet these arguments do not appear to be working. A strong majority of Republicans surveyed, 58 percent, said it was Mr. Trump, not Mr. DeSantis, who was best described by the phrase “able to beat Joe Biden.” And again, it was Mr. Trump, by a lopsided 67 percent to 22 percent margin, who was seen more as the one to “get things done.”


The New York Times notes: “in the half century of modern presidential primaries, no candidate who led his or her nearest rival by at least 20 points at this stage has ever lost a party nomination. Today, Donald J. Trump’s lead over Ron DeSantis is nearly twice as large: 37 points…”


The ‘08 McCain and ‘24 DeSantis “political reboots” share one, and only one, similarity:  Overspending and not enough fundraising.  Every other metric one could look at just doesn’t compare.


For instance, President Trump is crushing the polls.



CNN admitted that President Trump is in an incredibly strong position to defeat Joe Biden and return to the White House:


“Trump is not only in a historically strong position for a nonincumbent to win the Republican nomination, but he is in a better position to win the general election than at any point during the 2020 cycle and almost at any point during the 2016 cycle.


No one in Trump’s current polling position in the modern era has lost an open presidential primary that didn’t feature an incumbent. He’s pulling in more than 50% of support in the national primary polls, i.e., more than all his competitors combined.”



According to a Monmouth University Poll, nearly half (47%) of Republican voters say President Trump would be a stronger candidate than DeSantis in a general election against Joe Biden. A dismal 22% think DeSantis is more electable. This dismantles the DeSantis campaign’s core pitch to voters that the Governor is more electable.


The survey finds that President Trump dominates DeSantis by 32 points (54%-22%) and “Republicans have an overwhelmingly positive view of Trump (77% favorable and 18% unfavorable),” which is a higher net favorability score than DeSantis. 


There is also no “value proposition” to a DeSantis candidacy.  New Coke fell flat after much fanfare, and studies showed that the more people consumed it, the more they disliked it.  Does that sound familiar?


DeSantis’s campaign is marred by idiocy.


John McCain did not spend the opening week of his reboot explaining why his staff produced a  video with Nazi imagery, and defending his comments that slavery provided “some benefit” to enslaved Americans — while attacking black Republicans publicly in the process.


So the next time someone makes the “2008 Comeback” analogy in the same sentence with Ron DeSantis, be sure to hit them with these facts.