Expert weighs in on why DeSantis is campaigning for Michels

MADISON, Wis. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who made news this week for sending two planes of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, will campaign in Green Bay Sunday with Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels.

That will mark the second time a national figure has campaigned for Michels, who was joined by former President Donald Trump at a Waukesha rally in August.

The appearance may also be a boon for DeSantis, who is among the Republican names floated for the 2024 presidential campaign.

Marquette Law School poll director Charles Franklin says because of how important a state Wisconsin is, “it makes perfect sense” for DeSantis to want to introduce himself to a Wisconsin electorate.

“There’s also the element that DeSantis is looking to the possibility that Tim Michels becomes governor, and by campaigning with him, he helps establish good relations with a potential governor who might be in office in 2024,” Franklin said.

For Michels to appear with DeSantis, Franklin says it is a little bit of a mixed bag. DeSantis, like Trump, can help mollify the Republican base, but his policies may not be palatable to a wide base of voters.

“It’s not a trivially easy calculation to make about whether the net effect is good or bad, but within the party, I think both [Trump and DeSantis] are helpful for building up base voter support,” Franklin said. “Both are helpful. Trump probably more so.”

As to what to listen for at the rally, Franklin says the issue of election integrity good be a good proxy for some wedge issues that DeSantis promotes.

“It’s again, a double-edged sword because what he’s done has these two parts to it: it both appeals to the base, but really offends the other side,” Franklin said.