MATLACHA (FLV) – Gov. Ron DeSantis was asked at a press conference about a “GOP Civil War” brewing post-midterms as a result of underperforming the polls across the country and landing below expectations in swing states.
“We just finished this election, ok? People just need to chill out a little bit on some of this stuff. I mean, seriously, we just ran an election,” DeSantis replied.
Republicans felt let down when major swing state candidates like Mehmet Oz, Blake Masters, and Adam Laxalt lost their respective races and other candidates’ elections, like Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, were closer than expected.
The Florida governor, who played a role in the midterms rallying for candidates like New York Republican Lee Zeldin, who finished the gubernatorial race more competitive than expected, said Republicans should focus on the Georgia runoff election for U.S. Senate between Republican Herschel Walker and Democrat incumbent Raphael Warnock.
Georgia is one Senate race that has not yet been lost and serves as hope for Republicans aiming to minimize Democrat control of the Senate and potentially improve their chances and margins of taking the chamber in 2024, which is set to be a GOP-friendly map. If Republicans win in Georgia, the Senate would again be split 50-50.
“We have this Georgia runoff coming, which is very important for republicans to win that Georgia runoff.”
Walker finished Nov. 8’s general election just under 40,000 votes, or under 1%, below Warnock. DeSantis celebrated Florida was the “bright spot” representing a red wave.
“I mean, I know around the country – Florida was kind of the biggest bright spot. It was not so bright in many other parts of the country. It was, it was, it was a substandard performance, given the dynamics that are at play. So hopefully we’ll be able to be able to do that,” he continued.
“But I think what people like me who have been given the opportunity to continue is – ok, let’s do something with that. And the reason why we want historic victory is at the end of the day we lead, we delivered and we had your back when you needed us. That that is why we won big.”
DeSantis received praise for flipping historically blue counties in his landslide re-election over Democrat Charlie Crist, besting his opponent by nearly 20 points. Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, and Osceola are some of the major counties that went blue in elections prior but swung in DeSantis’ favor.
The morning after the midterm election, DeSantis was in Tallahassee giving an emergency briefing due to the imminent landfall of then-Hurricane Nicole.
“I’m in the Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee [the morning after the midterms] ’cause of this storm on the east coast of Florida […] Produce results, lead with conviction; I never put my finger in the wind or took polls – I just did what I thought was right.”
In Matlacha, DeSantis announced millions more in Hurricane Ian recovery.
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