ron de-sanctimonious wins
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis handily secured re-election against Democratic challenger and former state Gov. Charlie Crist, according to an 8 p.m. ET race call from The Associated Press.
As of 9 p.m., DeSantis commanded 59 percent of the vote, while Crist held onto just 40.4. Notably, DeSantis will be the first GOP gubernatorial candidate since Jeb Bush to carry Miami-Dade County, and he is also winning in the mostly Latino and typically blue — at least in recent years — Osceola County, Semafor reports.
With his re-election campaign now in the rearview, DeSantis' focus will "almost immediately turn to 2024," CNN predicts. The Donald Trump-esque governor — who has increasingly butted heads with the former president in recent weeks — is potentially in the mix for the Republican presidential nomination, though that might all hinge on what Trump decides to do. In the event of a run, however, he's got $60 million left in his war chest, "which he can now use to further build up his name in early voting states on the presidential primary calendar," adds HuffPost.
DeSantis' blowout victory also "reinforces Florida's transition in recent election cycles from a swing state to one that leans Republican," writes The Wall Street Journal; not for nothing, the number of registered Republicans surpassed that of registered Democrats "for the first time in Florida history last year," the Journal adds. And moreover, GOP Sen. Marco Rubio's (Fla.) easy Tuesday win, despite having been "vastly outspent" by opponent Rep. Val Demings, only looks to further cement that shift.
Quipped Puck's Julia Ioffe: "I'm old enough to remember when Florida was a swing state."