Amy Walter, The Cook Political Report:
I mean, I think Tam summed it up pretty well, which is that he just never found a message that was going to resonate with an electorate that still really likes Donald Trump.
I mean, at the end of the day, there were many problems with this campaign. So, Tam is absolutely right. Some of this is tied to him. But a lot of it is about the Republican Party and who Republican voters are. If you get Republican establishment, sort of the elite class, the donor class, they want anybody but Donald Trump as the nominee.
That’s not what voters want. And that disconnect has been apparent since 2016. And so for all the money and all the effort that a lot of those folks who are dubbing him, DeSantis, giving him money, wanted to believe that this is the formula, this is how you unseat Donald Trump with a candidate that’s a lot more like Donald Trump, the problem, as one Republican strategist said to me early on, is, that strategy, that idea of being Trump without the baggage, really what he was Trump-lite.
And for voters who know that they can get the full-calorie Trump, they didn’t want the diet version.