Is it a publicity stunt or smart advertising?
Our verify team took a look at the campaign ad featuring Congressman Ron DeSantis, who wants to be Florida's next governor. The ad starts off with Casey DeSantis, Ron's wife and a former host of First Coast Living on NBC 12. In the next shot, you see DeSantis "building a wall" with his daughter Madison, followed by DeSantis quoting "The Apprentice" to his son, Mason.
A spokesperson with the Ron DeSantis campaign said the ad was meant to be funny and not taken so seriously. It was DeSantis' way of showing his support and loyalty to President Donald Trump.
It's no secret that President Trump is endorsing DeSantis for governor. But, a lot of Republican candidates are throwing President Trump's name around in their campaign ads, even those who are not endorsed by him.
Our verify team went to political expert Dr. Michael Binder at the University of North Florida with a few questions. He said there is a reason you hear the president's name in a lot of Republican campaign ads.
"Trump is very, very popular. If you need to get Republican votes, align yourself with him. Get him to tweet about you, get his endorsement...that will help you," Dr. Binder said.
But, will this strategy hurt a Republican candidate's chances of gaining new voters?
"The problem comes in November when you're facing a Democrat and your majorities disapprove of the job he's doing. How do you distance yourself from cozying up to him so much in August?" Dr. Binder added.
Dr. Binder said the candidates need to think about the voters they're isolating.
"If you want to win in November, you're going to need nonpartisan affiliates. You're going to need independents. You're going to need some Democrats," Dr. Binder explained.
Right now, DeSantis is seeing success. He's leading the polls, by a lot, against Adam Putnam. But the question is if he wins the primaries, how will he do on election day?
"If you're not on board with DeSantis and maybe you're ho-hum on Trump. I don't think this was a great ad to that group. This potentially, if he wins the nomination, this is the type of thing that could come back to haunt him in the general election," Dr. Binder said.
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