Throwback to When Ron Desantis Won Florida’s Governorship by Greatest Margin in 40 Years

Throwback to When Ron Desantis Won Florida’s Governorship by Greatest Margin in 40 Years
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Anna Moneymaker

Despite his opposition to forced vaccines and masks, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida comfortably won the re-election last year with a victory margin of 19.4%, the largest since 1982, after being praised by conservatives for his attempts to reopen Florida businesses and schools early on during the deadly COVID-19 outbreak. With this success, the public began preparing for the possibility of a 2024 presidential run against former President Donald Trump. For DeSantis, this was "a historic, landslide victory."

DeSantis won handily, with a double-digit margin of victory in 62 of Florida's 67 counties. He even won heavily Democratic Miami-Dade County by 11 points, per the New York Times. He was the first Republican contender for governor since 2002 to win traditionally blue Miami-Dade County and won the 2022 Florida governor’s race by the largest margin in 40 years.

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DeSantis said at the time, "We had the conviction to guide us, and we had the courage to lead. We made promises to the people of Florida, and we have delivered on those promises. Today, after four years, the people have delivered their verdict," per The Guardian. He further went on to say, "Florida is where woke goes to die." As per the reports, this was the largest margin in a Florida governor contest since Jeb Bush won by about 13 points in 2002.

DeSantis defeated Democrat Charlie Crist by 59 to 40, per Politico. DeSantis was also successful in the heavily Democratic county of Miami-Dade, becoming the first Republican to win the county since Jeb Bush. At his election night celebration in the Tampa Convention Center, which aides say was structured less for a reelection party and more as a preview of what's to come: a 2024 presidential bid, DeSantis was welcomed with a loud ovation from a large, rowdy audience.

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Data from VoteCast showed that among males in the age range 65 or above, DeSantis won the support of 66% of voters, while Crist had the support of just 34%. The research showed that DeSantis maintained his lead among women of the same age range. He won the support of 56% of voters, while Crist received just 43%. According to VoteCast results, 61% of young males favored DeSantis over Crist, who received 36% of the vote. Women between the ages of 18 and 29 showed a distinct trend, with VoteCast data showing that they were equally split between DeSantis and Crist at 47% each.


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A new survey of Republican presidential primary voters shows that former president Donald Trump is leading Florida governor Ron DeSantis by 35 percentage points, highlighting the difficulties DeSantis confronts in his own state and the other states. Tony Fabrizio, a prominent Republican pollster who conducted the study said, "Where DeSantis has been governor and the people know him best, he still can’t beat Trump. And if DeSantis can’t win in his own backyard, where can he win?"

The Fabrizio survey suggests a structural issue for DeSantis inside the GOP, as 90% have a positive view of him and 76% say they have a "very favorable" opinion of the governor, but Trump has a 57-22% edge against DeSantis. While Trump leads DeSantis by 6 points in the Fabrizio Florida poll and 12 points in the national polls, a new poll from a pro-DeSantis political entity reveals he is also being severely trounced by Trump in Iowa, 50-19%. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley rose to third place with 11% of the vote in that DeSantis-supporting Iowa.

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