The DeSantis Tsunami

The media got it wrong, again. They wanted to portray Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as a loser. But the voters of Florida have just declared him the biggest winner in the 2022 Mid-Term Elections.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board put it this way: “The media have vilified both Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis to a degree that makes the treatment of Mitt Romney and George W. Bush look kind in comparison. Mr. Trump defied the odds and won in 2016, then lost in 2020 as voters tired of him. In his 2018 run for governor, Mr. DeSantis beat Andrew Gillum by less than half a percentage point. The media in Florida tarred and feathered him, but the national media barely knew who he was. Florida was a swing state where Democrats held a narrow registration edge. Then came Covid. Mr. DeSantis bucked the national panic and reopened the state quickly, inspiring legions of like-minded people to flock to the free state of Florida. Republicans on the voter rolls now outnumber Democrats by nearly 300,000.”

The media can be cruel – and absolutely wrong. They called him “DeathSantis” and tried to make him out to be the new lead villain, some calling him a threat to democracy, a monster who wanted to kill grandma, a bogeyman who wanted to ban books and push gays back into the closet. But Floridians weren’t listening.

As recently as September, some polls were giving DeSantis a margin of only 3 to 8 points. But with most of the votes counted, DeSantis crushed Democratic challenger Charlie Crist by nearly 20 points. Crist now has the distinction of losing elections as a Republican, an Independent, and a Democrat.

None of the large Florida newspapers endorsed Mr. DeSantis. Instead, they echoed the national media in excoriating him. The Miami Herald opined that “Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Florida is a place of meanness. It’s a place where dissent is muzzled, where personal rights triumph over the greater good, where winning is more important than unity – especially if that victory moves him closer to a White House run.” It seems their own readers rejected this characterization of the governor as he flipped the usually Democratic stronghold of Miami-Dade County from blue to red.

The Tampa Bay Times called him a bully who “divides to conquer.” The Palm Beach Post wrote that he “relies on hubris and manufactured culture war drama to govern.” Fort Lauderdale’s South Florida Sun Sentinel asserted that “DeSantis rules Florida with an iron hand. He dictates what teachers teach, creates barriers to voting, uses raw power to punish critics and marginalizes women, Blacks and LGBTQ people.” There’s a reason why all these newspapers are struggling to maintain their readership.

In 2018, DeSantis got 39% of the vote in Miami-Dade County, which is 70% Latino. In 2022 he earned 55%. In Palm Beach County, he won 51% of the vote this year compared to only 41% in 2018. In Hillsborough County (Tampa), he went from 45% in 2018 to 54% in 2022. In Osceola County, near Orlando, where Trump lost by 14 points, DeSantis won by 7 points.

Just how big was his margin of victory? The last time a Republican governor in Florida won in a bigger landslide than DeSantis was way back in 1868, when Harrison Reed captured 59% of votes to 32% of his Democratic challenger, when fewer than 20,000 Floridians voted. In his victory speech, DeSantis proclaimed his state is where “woke goes to die,” adding that “Florida was a refuge of sanity when the world went mad. We stood as a citadel of freedom for people from across the country and across the world.” He credited his pandemic policies, stressing “freedom” over mandates, and “education” over “indoctrination.”

This huge victory elevates DeSantis to be the new leader of the Republican Party. There’s a reason why more Americans are moving to Florida than any other state.

2 comments

  1. Another blog where you “knocked it out of the park”. Keep it up.

    Comment by David Godfrey on November 10, 2022 at 8:28 am

  2. Thanks. You know how to say it.

    Comment by Allen Higginbotham on November 10, 2022 at 8:55 am