TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – A red tsunami hit Florida Tuesday night.
To the disarray of Florida Democrats, Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Republican Party of Florida successfully flipped traditionally Democrat-heavy or Democrat-leaning counties across the Sunshine State, in some cases by double digit margins.
In 2020, Democrat Joe Biden won Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Osceola, and Seminole County.
In Miami-Dade, Biden won by 7.3%. DeSantis won the county by around 11%.
Biden won Palm Beach by 12.8%. DeSantis is ahead by 2.9%.
Pinellas was a closer race in 2020, with Biden squeaking by with 0.3%. DeSantis flipped that to nearly 10% in his favor.
Biden won Hillsborough by 6.8% to DeSantis’ ~9%, Osceola went from 13.8% Biden to 6.7% DeSantis, and Seminole went from 2.8% Biden to ~12% DeSantis.
One statistic Republicans are raving about is comparing Florida’s gubernatorial result compared to New York’s contest between Democrat Kathy Hochul and Republican Lee Zeldin. The state was called early on Tuesday for Hochul, but as results came in, Zeldin’s deficit rests at just around 6%. In 2018, Andrew Cuomo won by 23%.
In other words, the New York governor’s race was more competitive than Florida’s.
Republicans went into Tuesday’s election with a decisive lead above 300,000. In 2020, the Democrat lead heading into election day was around 115,000, when Donald Trump won the state by 3.4%. Republicans were positioned nearly half-a-million voters better in the early + mail-in vote, and only extended their lead on election day voting.
The red wave swept the entire Sunshine State in re-electing DeSantis, and Hurricane Ian-struck counties saw a similar 10-point swing in the governor’s favor.
Lee County, which Trump won by around 29%, skyrocketed in DeSantis’ favor, who won the ground-zero Ian county by 38%, nearing the 70% popular vote mark.
Collier, also struck by Ian around landfall, broke that 70% margin, with DeSantis hovering around the 71% popular vote mark. He won that county by around 44%.
The picture is similar in Charlotte and Sarasota, other coastal counties that were struck by Ian. In Charlotte, Trump won by 27%. DeSantis extended that margin to around 41%. For Sarasota, Trump’s 2020 margin was around 10%, and DeSantis’ 2022 margin is hovering at 22%.
Before the election, analysts predicted DeSantis received a large polling boost thanks to his response to Hurricane Ian.
In the end, Charlie Crist is projected to win just 5 Florida counties, and DeSantis, 62. With greater than 93% reporting, DeSantis is leading Crist by around 1.6 million votes. In 2018, he defeated Andrew Gillum by only around 34,000.
Crist lost just around 1 million votes from Gillum’s 2018 run. Gillum received around 4 million, as DeSantis did, but Crist only just eclipsed the 3 million mark in 2022. DeSantis sits at 4.6 million votes, a gain of around 600,000. The cabinet was also a clean sweep for Republicans, with Ashley Moody (Attorney General), Wilton Simpson (Agriculture Commissioner), and Jimmy Patronis (Chief Financial Officer) decisively winning their respective races.
After Florida’s redistricting, the red wave in the state bolstered House pickups, with Republicans now sending 20 GOP representatives to Congress to the Democrats’ 8.
Also on Tuesday, Republicans fulfilled hopes of achieving a supermajority in the state legislature. Find those results here.
2022 results were obtained by DecisionDeskHQ.
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