Can Charlie Crist beat Ron DeSantis in Florida's gubernatorial race?

The sharpest opinions on the debate from around the web

Ron DeSantis.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images)

Florida Democrats this week chose Rep. Charlie Crist to challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in November. Crist, who once served as Florida's governor as a Republican, decisively beat his chief rival, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. Crist got 59 percent of the vote to Fried's 35 percent. After criticizing Crist during the campaign for his past support for conservative policies and his record on abortion, Fried conceded and vowed to give Crist her full support. "We are going to make Ron DeSantis a one-term governor, and a zero-term president of the United States," she told her supporters. "We Democrats have to come together like never before."

Crist fares better than Fried in polls against DeSantis, but he trails by enough to be considered a clear underdog. FiveThirtyEight gives DeSantis a 92 percent chance of winning in November. Florida's governor has been firing up former President Donald Trump's MAGA base for months, pushing abortion restrictions, fighting coronavirus restrictions, and barring schools from enacting policies designed to increase sensitivity to gay and transgender students. Crist hopes to pull off an upset in a year when Democrats are overperforming in bellwether special elections. He has promised to sign an executive order protecting abortion rights on his first day in office, which could help him tap into the energy of voters angry about the Supreme Court's overturning Roe v. Wade. Does Crist stand a chance, or is DeSantis unstoppable?

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