A quiet day for Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis skipped a big event for Iowan evangelicals attended by several other candidates to deliver the keynote speech at the Utah Republican Party Convention at the UVU UCCU Center, Orem. Having been introduced by Senator Mike Lee, he emphasized fiscal conservatism and drew comparisons between Utah and Florida regarding their approaches to governance. He also took President Biden to task on the immigration situation at the Mexican border before returning to familiar territory, condemning “woke ideology”.
The DeSantis campaign also released an internal poll showing their candidate leading Donald Trump in a head-to-head 46%-35% in Utah.
DeSantis prepared to travel abroad.
DeSantis travelled to Japan to begin a four-country trade mission, meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida upon arrival. A clip from the following press conference went viral due to his reaction to a Japanese journalist asking about his recent dip in polling numbers.
DeSantis met with 80 Japanese executives to discuss future investment in Florida and also held a meeting with Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayasi. The trip continued with DeSantis meeting with Toshimitsu Motegi, Secretary General of the ruling LDP. This was followed with another meeting with All Nippon Airways and Japanese Airlines to discuss the possibility of direct flights between Japan and Florida.
Back in Florida, GOP lawmakers filed legislation to allow DeSantis to run for president whilst remaining in his position as Governor.
On Wednesday, DeSantis hosted a symposium on the future of space before travelling to South Korea. After arriving, he addressed South Korean business leaders. The visit to South Korea continued with a visit to the LowCarbon Hydrogen Corporation with whom he signed a memorandum of understanding upon the announcement of a new facility in Polk County, Florida. Talks continued, next with the presidents of Hyundai and Kia. He also met with Prime Minister Han Duck-Soo and the governor of Flordia’s sister state, Gyeonggi Province.
In less positive news, Disney filed a lawsuit against DeSantis citing a “targeted campaign of government retaliation.”
The trade mission moved on to Israel on Thursday with DeSantis making a speech at the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem. He reiterated his opposition to pro-Palestinian movements, his support for the recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital and his concerns regarding Iran.
Emerson College released a new poll, showing Donald Trump winning by a wide margin of 46 points. Trump secured 62% support in this poll whilst DeSantis received 16%. Mike Pence at 7%, Nikki Haley and Vivak Ramaswamy were both at 3%, and Asa Hutchinson and Chris Christie at 2%. Christ Sununu and Tim Scott received no support.
It was a difficult week at home for DeSantis with polling continuing to deteriorate and Disney beginning to push back, but appears to have had a positive trip on his trade mission so far.