DeSantis Overtakes Trump With Most Mentions By Fox News
Gov. Ron DeSantis received more mentions on Fox News than any other potential 2024 candidate last week–including former president Donald Trump. The Florida governor has been building a national profile since the 2022 midterms, ahead of a widely expected presidential campaign announcement sometime in the coming months. Trump has historically dominated media mentions and airtime across all networks, as far back as his first announcement in 2015. This is the first time DeSantis has edged out the former president on any major network.
According to a study by the left-wing Media Matters group, from March 5-11, DeSantis’ name was mentioned 177 times by guests and personalities on the Fox News network, compared to Donald Trump with 142 mentions.
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The Florida governor has been busy lately, opening the state’s 2023 legislative session last week, presenting the annual State of the State Address, and touring the country promoting his new book. DeSantis also recently waded into American foreign policy, criticizing the Biden administration’s approach to the war in Ukraine. While the governor has had an exceptionally newsworthy week, Media Matters suggested that Fox may be “shifting its focus to the Florida governor” ahead of the 2024 campaign announcement.
DeSantis has also appeared on the network seven times this year, while Donald Trump has not since joining Sean Hannity for an interview in September.
Despite taking second place this week, the study noted that Trump continues to dominate in overall coverage, especially on MSNBC and CNN. In the first week of 2023, MSNBC reportedly mentioned Trump’s name 535 times, compared to DeSantis at 24. Since the beginning of the year, Fox has mentioned Trump almost twice as often as DeSantis, at 1,571 vs. 791.
While media mentions can be positive or negative, the mainstream media’s obsessive focus on Donald Trump in 2016 is often considered a factor in his stunning upset over Hillary Clinton. A New York Times study in 2016 concluded that Trump received $2 billion in free media coverage during his campaign–substantially more than Clinton.
Despite having made no official announcement on his 2024 intentions, DeSantis has traveled around the country recently to rally national support. In February, he toured New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, touting Florida’s successes and encouraging law enforcement officers to move to the sunshine state.
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“As much as I’m proud of Florida doing well, I want the country to do well,” DeSantis said to a Staten Island crowd. “We fight the woke when they go after our law enforcement. We do not surrender to the woke mob. Our state is where woke goes to die.”
Since the release of his new book, The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival, he has visited California and Iowa, testing his skills as a retail politician and promoting his work in Florida as a model for the rest of the United States.
DeSantis is expected to visit New Hampshire and Nevada in the coming weeks. In addition to Iowa, some of the first states are scheduled to vote in the 2024 republican presidential primaries.
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