Political pundits are debating why many Republican candidates underperformed expectations on election day. Republicans across the country came up short in races that they were predicted to win, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis won in deep blue counties.
Florida was the one overwhelmingly bright spot for the Republican Party as DeSantis crushed the expectations of even his staunchest allies, winning by more than 1.5 million votes in a 19.5-point margin over Democrat Charlie Crist.
DeSantis won 62 of Florida’s 67 counties, including 59 counties by double digits. He won Miami-Dade County, the largest in the state and a Democrat stronghold, by 11 points. He won Palm Beach County, the third-largest county in the state and another Democrat stronghold, by three points.
DeSantis’ victory came despite repeated attacks from Trump in recent days, whom some say has panicked over the notion that he may have to face DeSantis in a 2024 presidential primary. As of Wednesday morning, betting markets had DeSantis as the favorite to be the Republican Party nominee for president in 2024.
“One stunning truth exploded like fireworks on the Fourth of July tonight: The #DeSantis era has begun,” actor James Woods tweeted “No more limp-twisted Republican political hacks ‘reaching across the aisle’ will ever win again. This is war, and only warriors will win.”
“What a massive, crushing message DeSantis sent tonight,” Republican political analyst Scott Jennings said. “How could you look at these results tonight and conclude Trump has any chance of winning a national election in 2024?”
Echelon Insights pollster Patrick Ruffini tweeted, “An election where Oz and Walker narrowly lose and where DeSantis romps by 20 points is the worst possible night for Trump and the best possible night for DeSantis.”
“If DeSantis lets Trump bluff him out of running for president after winning Florida by A MILLION AND A HALF VOTES it will be a fold for the political ages,” political writer Tim Alberta tweeted. “Make no mistake: DeSantis should now be considered the betting favorite to win the GOP nomination in ’24.”
“Ron DeSantis won his last gubernatorial race by 30,000 votes,” “The Daily Wire’s” Ben Shapiro tweeted. “He turned that into a historically large victory and along with the rest of the state GOP, turned a heretofore purple state bright red. Good things to remember for Republicans going forward.”
More on the DeSantis victory:
Tuesday’s election serves as further proof that solidly red Florida is past its days as a swing state.
- Last year, registered Republican voters in Florida surpassed Democrats for the first time in history and have been extending that lead since, the Miami Herald reports.
DeSantis won the formerly solid-blue Miami-Dade County, becoming the first Republican gubernatorial candidate to win the county since 2002.
- Miami-Dade was viewed as a bellwether that could signal a GOP landslide nationwide and provide rocket fuel for a potential DeSantis presidential campaign in 2024, Axios’ Josh Kraushaar reports.
Republicans swept the Florida Cabinet races, as Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis both fended off Democratic challengers on Tuesday.
- Republican Wilton Simpson won the race for agriculture commissioner after Democrat Nikki Fried vacated the seat to run for governor.
Republicans won enough seats to give them a two-thirds supermajority in the State House and Florida Senate, according to the Miami Herald.
- All nine Republican candidates running in Miami-area state legislative races won on Tuesday.
At a victory party Tuesday evening, DeSantis called his victory a “win for the ages” and thanked the Democratic bastions of Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties for supporting him over Crist.
The DeSantis victory set up a possible future match-up between the Florida Governor and former President Donald Trump.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice