California versus Florida: A look at the states before Gov. Newsom debates Gov. DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and California Gov. Gavin Newsom will take part in a televised 90-minute debate moderated by Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Nov. 30. The two ideologically opposed governors first agreed to take each other on in early August, but negotiations stalled for weeks over the proposed rules.

Newsom’s side

Emphasizing that they “want a real debate — not a circus,” Newsom spokesperson Nathan Click said in a statement, “We’ve agreed to the debate — provided there is no cheering section, no hype videos or any of the other crutches DeSantis requested.”

Gavin Christopher Newsom

Age: 56, born in San Francisco

Newsom’s father was an attorney for Getty Oil. His parents divorced when he was age 3.

He struggled with dyslexia as a child.

Newsom played baseball for Santa Clara University for two years, then injured his arm. He graduated with a degree in political science in 1989.

With help from Gordon Getty and other investors Newsom created a company called PlumpJack Associates L.P. in 1991.

Newsom volunteered with Willie Brown’s mayoral campaign in 1995, and was appointed to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors by Brown in 1997. He was elected to a full term in 1998. Reelected in 2000 and 2002.

He was elected mayor of San Francisco twice, 2003 and 2007.

Newsom was lieutenant governor of California twice, 2010 and 2014.


Newsom won the 2018 election, survived a recall in 2021 and was elected to a second term in 2022 with 59% of the vote.

Newsom’s been married twice. He and his second wife married in 2008 and have four children.

Budget: After two years of having a surplus, California had a $32 billion deficit in 2023. Lawmakers passed a $310.8 billion budget in June that closes the $32 billion deficit.

DeSantis on the debate

“One, Biden’s agenda is ultimately just trying to take the California agenda nationally anyways. California leftism is kind of how the Democratic Party operates, Biden may not be the candidate.”

Ronald Dion DeSantis

Age: 45, born in Jacksonville, Fla.

DeSantis studied history at Yale University. He was captain of Yale’s varsity baseball team.

After Yale, DeSantis taught history and coached for a year at Darlington School in Georgia, then attended Harvard Law School, graduating in

2005 with a Juris Doctor, cum laude. At Harvard, he was business manager for the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.

U.S. Navy, 2004-2010 (reserve up to 2019).

Among his duties in the U.S. Navy, he was legal council for Seal Team One. He was deployed to Iraq in the fall of 2007 with the SEAL

Commander of the Special Operations Task Force-West in Fallujah.

First ran for Congress in 2012

Reelected in 2014 and 2016


Governor of Florida since 2019 in a narrow victory. Reelected in 2022 by a landslide.

Married since 2009, three children.

Budget: Florida passed its $116.5 billion budget earlier this year. It has had a budget surplus the last two years, although the surplus was slightly less this year.

Newsom on the issues in a nutshell

Abortion: Newsom opposes defunding Planned Parenthood and welcomes women to California seeking abortions.

Civil Rights: Newsom is an early supporter of gay marriage. Supports Affirmative Action.

Energy and oil: New cars and trucks in California to be zero-emissions by 2035.

Gun control: Supports background checks, gun control laws and suits against gun makers.

Immigration: Favored sanctuary cities

You can see where Newsom stands on a lot of other issues here.

DeSantis on the issues in a nutshell

Abortion: Ban most abortions after six weeks. Rated 0% by Planned Parenthood.

Civil Rights: Opposes same-sex marriage.

Energy and oil: Opposes the Green New Deal. Wants the U.S. to be energy dominant again.

Gun control: Wants concealed carry statewide. Opposes restrictions on gun purchases.

Immigration: No sanctuary cities in Florida.

You can see where DeSantis stands on a lot of other issues here.

Ranking the states

Best States is an interactive platform developed by U.S. News for ranking the 50 U.S. states, alongside news analysis and daily reporting. The rankings use 71 metrics across eight categories. The data behind the rankings aims to show how well states serve their residents in a variety of ways. The platform is designed to engage citizens and government leaders in a discussion about what needs improvement across the country.

The Top 5 states were: Utah, Washington, Idaho, Nebraska and Minnesota.Another best states to live in 2023 on ranks Florida sixth and California 24. You can find it here.

California and Florida accommodation prices as of March

Median home value:

California – $849,080

Florida – $405,000

One-bedroom apartment in city center:

California – $1,999.81

Florida – $1,629.90

One-bedroom apartment outside the city center:

California – $1,775.23

Florida – $1,311.56

Utility Cost

California – $135.28

Florida – $126.44

Basic meal with a drink at an inexpensive restaurant:

California – $14.30

Florida – $15.21

Fast food or combo meals at McDonald’s:

California – $8.29

Florida – $7.75


California – $3.30

Florida – $2.84

Taxes in Florida and California