By 8 p.m. eastern time, within seconds of Florida’s polls closing statewide, NBC and Fox News both called the reelection of Gov. Ron DeSantis. During an election night that the media promised must spill into an election week, DeSantis secured sweeping victories, while half of the rest of the country was still stuck in line waiting to vote.
Just how well did DeSantis expand upon his mandate to govern? Consider the beating heart of the state, and maybe the epicenter of the GOP. In 2018, he lost the nation’s most populous majority-Hispanic county by more than 20 points to former Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum. With 80% of the 2022 vote counted, DeSantis is up nearly 20 points over Charlie Crist, the former governor of the entire state. (For reference, when the newly woke Crist originally ran as the Republican gubernatorial nominee, he lost by 8 points.)
The whole slate of Republican candidates challenged in the Miami metropolitan area outperformed expectations. Rubio secured his reelection for Senate by 8 p.m. over Val Demings, whom Democrats considered a contender for Joe Biden’s running mate just two years ago. Republican Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar swept a double-digit lead. The only candidate not on the ballot, Mayor Francis Suarez, spent the lead-up to the election campaigning for other Republicans, including in other states.
Something is changing in Miami, and no, it’s not just the Cubans. A single county flipping has taken the nation’s most crucial swing state off the table for Democrats’ taking. It was only two years ago that Miami-Dade gave Joe Biden a 7-point lead, and now, the county has gifted the GOP a blood-red metropolis, from the mayor to the governor singularly slated to take the Republican presidential nomination and then the White House in 2024.