Is Florida a ‘blueprint’ for the country?

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis has led efforts to ban lessons on gender or sexuality in schools
  • Texas has led the way in efforts like busing migrants away from the border
  • Both states could hold clues to the GOP agenda in 2024

(NewsNation) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has referred to his state as a “blueprint” for the nation, but Florida isn’t the only red state vying for national attention.

DeSantis has used the phrase frequently in speeches and in his new book, “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Survival.”

Under his leadership, Florida has been in the headlines on national issues, most recently with the Parental Rights in Education Act, which bans the discussion of gender or sexual orientation in classrooms.

Critics dubbed the legislation the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, and it sparked an ongoing battle between DeSantis and Walt Disney Co.

But there’s another state that could be, as one professor put it, “too big and often too bold to ignore” when it comes to talking about a blueprint for the GOP.

Texas is home to about 30 million people and has been described as a microcosm of the nation. The state is home to major cities such as Houston and Dallas, as well as a home to major issues like immigration.

“Well, I think that Florida and Texas are sort of vying to be the leading red state in the country to take on California and the left. But I do think that the initiative and being a leading red state tends to go back and forth between Texas and Florida and the two states watch each other. If something happens in Florida, Texas is likely to follow, and if something happens in Texas, Florida is very likely to follow,” said Cal Jillson, an author and professor of political science at Southern Methodist University.

Jillson told NewsNation there are a lot of similarities in the conservative agendas of both states.

Historically, Jillson said, Texas has been the leader when it comes to a conservative agenda, but DeSantis has recently gotten in front on some issues.

At the same time, Florida also follows Texas’ lead. After Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began busing migrants from his state to places including New York and Chicago, DeSantis began to fly migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

It’s too early to say exactly what will happen in 2024, but for those hoping to predict the future agenda of the GOP, Texas and Florida are two states to watch.


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