A panel of young California voters joined FOX News’ “The Story” on Friday to react to The Great Red vs. Blue State Debate between California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on “Hannity,” offering mixed reviews for the participants.
Fordham University students Andrew McDonald and Parker McGinley — Democrat and Republican respectively — told FOX News that neither would support DeSantis.
McGinley indicated he is leaning toward former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, while McDonald leaned toward re-electing President Biden.
McDonald also dismissed mounting notions that Newsom is running a shadow campaign for the presidency as a last-minute replacement for Biden while suggesting DeSantis’ performance was an attempt to gain traction in a primary where former President Trump is running away in the polls.
“I’m watching all the debates, but this debate mattered just as much as all the other Republican debates,” he said.
“I don’t think that either of these men will be president in 2025.”
McDonald, while a Democrat, said he is also “not a fan” of Newsom. However, he sees the governor as obviously trying to build support for an “inevitable” 2028 presidential bid.
Asked about polls showing Americans overall opposing a Biden re-election campaign, McDonald said surveys indeed showed “generic Democrats” running ahead of the incumbent in a match-up with Trump.
Still, he hedged on Biden’s claims the MAGA movement is truly a “threat to democracy,” saying that if that were true, the president would have seen the polling against his favor and immediately bowed out of the race to let either Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro or Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer take his spot.
Shapiro, a first-term governor and the first Democrat in decades to follow a preceding Democratic governor in Harrisburg, as well as Whitmer, a high-profile, second-term liberal in Lansing, are among several names often discussed as future party leaders in addition to Newsom.
McGinley, the Republican voter, said he was “a little bit embarrassed” by DeSantis’ performance.
“I was hoping that he’d show a little bit more of a charming character that we see in Trump, and right now he’s just been pounding out — going for plays, going for ticks, trying to get on Instagram, trying to get on all these social media apps and trying to look like the harsh, Trumpier-than-Trump than any other Republican,” McGinley said.
He said DeSantis comes across as trying to be the next iteration of a Trumpian candidate but lacks the “charm” of the 45th president.
“That’s why I’d lean more towards Trump,” he said. “Of course, I’d also lean towards Nikki Haley. I think she’s stolen a lot of what DeSantis had.”
However, McGinley later said DeSantis would make a great vice president.