OANN’s Neil W. McCabe Updates on DeSantis-Crist Race in Florida and Republicans Around the Country

Live from Music Row, Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed investigative reporter for One America News, Neil W. McCabe, to the newsmaker line to give updates on the Ron DeSantis race in Florida, getting behind Republicans, and races in other states.

Leahy: On the newsmaker line is the great Neil W. McCabe, Top Gov tracker for One America News Network, and previously the national political editor for our company, The Star News Network.

Well, Neil, Governor DeSantis, according to a poll we just heard about on the news, is leading Charlie Crist by only three points, according to one poll, in the Florida gubernatorial race that will be held two months and one day from today. That seems a little bit to me like polling propaganda. Your thoughts, Neil W. McCabe.

McCabe: Yeah, I’d have to look at those cross tabs [cross-tabulation], as we say, Michael. It’s really interesting when you look at the disastrous campaign and what they’ve been able to do. While Republicans across the country are running away from conservatism and the conservative agenda, not only has DeSantis embraced it, and continues to embrace it, but his ads are also on offense.

And he just released an ad yesterday that has a nurse, a schoolteacher, a firefighter, a waitress, all talking about how Governor DeSantis stands up for them, stands up for Florida values, how he protected their jobs, protects their kids. This guy is on offense.

He’s raised $180 million this cycle, compared to $15 million for Charlie Crist. I was just looking through some campaign finance reports, and he just dropped $140,000 on DeSantis campaign hats.

Leahy: I need a hat. We’ll wear the Top Gov hat here.

Carmichael: Is that what it says on it? By the way? What does the hat say? I’m curious.

McCabe: I don’t know yet. As you know, Crom, I’m just digging into this, but you know that I asked for an interview at that hat factory in Quincy, Florida. It’s about a half-hour from here, and I’m sure my videographer will enjoy driving me out there.

Leahy: About that poll, this will shock you. Are you ready? It was commissioned by AARP, the left-wing group that has been out there pushing left-wing topics for years and years.

McCabe: I’ll tell you, you’ll recall, Mike, there was an interesting poll that was put out in Ohio with DeSantis and DeWine, and that was put out by the Democratic Governors Association, that showed that 40 percent of Republican voters in Ohio would support an independent conservative over DeWine.

And the Democratic Governors Association put out a poll last week that showed DeSantis up five. And I get the impression that the DGA polls, they’re playing it straight, just to get credibility. And if they’re down, they’re down. If they’re up, they’re up.

And so if the Democratic Governors Association is saying that the DeSantis is up five, that’s probably a pretty good number. And it’s all going to be based on turnout. This is a midterm. It’s a base turnout election. Of course, at the national level, the Republican Party is trying to suppress base turnout by deliberately disavowing their base voters. We’ll see how that strategy works out.

Leahy: Probably not so well. What’s the feel on the ground in Florida when you go out and you talk to people? What’s the feeling of the average, everyday Floridian about Governor Ron DeSantis?

McCabe: Maybe your grandparents told you about a guy named President Ronald Reagan. And when Reagan was president, it was almost like he wasn’t political. He was just the president, and everybody just sort of accepted it, and it wasn’t even contentious for most Americans.

That’s the way it is here in Florida. People love DeSantis. They don’t want him to run for president because they want to keep him as the governor of Florida. And it’s not even political with DeSantis. He’s just a regular guy, and he happens to be our governor.

Leahy: Have you been able to secure that DeSantis interview yet?

McCabe: No. DeSantis is on the road. To his credit, he’s campaigning around the country to support Republican candidates to raise money. He raised a ton of money for Lee Zeldin in New York about a week before Trump went out there to raise a million dollars for Lee Zeldin. DeSantis had to cancel because of the death of a member of his security detail.

So he’s traveling in California now, today. He’ll be in San Diego today. And he travels all over the place. And I want to see guys like DeSantis, who pretty much have their own state locked down, going out there and helping Republicans, but also showing Republicans that they can win by being pro-life, pro-gun, pro-parent, like we see up in Pennsylvania. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

Dr. Oz is basically reduced to harassing and ridiculing a guy recovering from a stroke over his health condition. Dr. Oz doesn’t have any issues to run on. I just don’t see it.

Leahy: So let me ask you this. Charlie Crist, he just strikes me as a very tan guy who is filled with no commitment to any ideology except for Charlie Crist.

McCabe: Let me tell you, Charlie Crist is not sure if a football is filled with air or feathers. (Leahy laughs)

Leahy: Give me some insight into voters in Florida who say, I’m going to vote. He’s my guy. What’s going on in their minds?

McCabe: You’ll recall that he was the Republican governor of Florida.

Leahy: Yes.

McCabe: And he actually hugged Barack Obama, and that ended his career as a Republican. And he’s run for governor again. He’s run for Senate again. He was able to pick up a congressional seat representing Tampa Bay after David Jolly sort of became a Never Trumper.

And so he’s very light. He’s very easy. It’s kind of like people who like listening to the easy listening station on the radio. It’s no fuss. He’s tanned, he’s charming. I’ve met him personally – a very gregarious guy, a great guy, the kind of guy you could hang out with. But going against DeSantis? Please.

Leahy: Did he help or hurt himself by picking as his running mate – they have running mates there, lieutenant governor, the head of the teachers’ union – in Miami Dade County?

McCabe: Yeah, Karla Hernandez-Mats, who the DeSantis campaign called Karla Marx. Yes. I love that they are beating the piss out of her day in, day out. (Leahy laughs) It is rough. Because she has given so many crazy interviews and yes, it’s really going to hurt. But as I said last week, every year it’s a competition.

Who’s going to give more money to the Democrats – the teachers, or the trial lawyers? The teachers are not only their major constituency, they are major funders. And one of the revolutions of Donald Trump is that he effectively decoupled the Republican Party from the sort of donor base that was dictating policy.

But the Democrats still have that problem. So the Democrats have a regular primary that they run with their voters, but then they also have the contributor primary. And so these left-wing contributors – and I’ll put the teachers’ union as part of that – they are the ones pulling the Democratic Party to the left and it’s disconnecting them to the people. I just don’t see it. I just don’t see it working here in Florida. Not this cycle, not with DeSantis.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.










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