Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday won his reelection bid against Democrat Charlie Crist in dominant fashion.
On a dark night for the GOP, many Republicans saw DeSantis’ victory as a glimpse of a brighter future.
The Associated Press called the Florida gubernatorial race early Tuesday night, and with 95% of the votes counted, DeSantis held a 59% to 40% lead over Crist.
Most telling was DeSantis’ performance in Miami-Dade County, which he lost by 20 points in his first gubernatorial campaign in 2018.
- DeSantis was the first Republican to take the majority-Hispanic county since Jeb Bush’s reelection campaign in 2002.
It was part of a diverse coalition that pushed DeSantis to victory, according to Edison Research exit polling, including:
- 57% of Hispanics,
- 52% of women,
- 58% of suburbanites, and
- 52% of independents.
DeSantis even won5 of 6 school-board races in which he endorsed candidates.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Many political pundits, including on the right, contrasted DeSantis’ showing Tuesday with that of former President Trump, whose preferred candidates lost in several key states as a “red wave” failed to materialize.
- “There’s a potential narrative out of this night that if you’re a discerning Republican voter trying to figure out the future, direction of this party, we once again learn that Trump is not a national winner for the Republicans,” conservative commentator Scott Jennings said overnight on CNN.
- “But DeSantis may be the next evolution of someone who can marry what you like about Trump but also recover some people that went away from the party during Trump.”
According to a number of oddsmakers, DeSantis overtook Trump as the GOP’s presidential nominee frontrunner, according to a number of oddsmakers.