Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' massive win over Democrat Charlie Crist has led to questions over whether he is now the favorite heading into the 2024 Republican presidential primaries.
Some believe the Florida Republican's 1.5 million vote victory against Crist, an outgoing congressman and former governor, has propelled him to the top of the primary if he decides to run against former President Donald Trump.
In one highly unofficial measure of prospective candidacies on the betting market PredictIt, DeSantis is leading with 31% to Trump's 29% on the topic of "who will win the 2024 U.S. presidential election?" and President Joe Biden is in third place at 25%.
New York Times columnist Ross Douthat wrote that DeSantis could have taken the 2024 lead Tuesday night after his near 20-point victory flipped several heavily Hispanic counties.
"A red wave swept Florida, but elsewhere, it barely lapped the shore," Douthat wrote. "In a normal political world, a normal political party, you would say that DeSantis effectively became the 2024 Republican front-runner last night."
However, he said the Republican Party hasn't "been normal since Trump descended that escalator in 2015" and thus he will not make a definite prediction.
DeSantis' reelection win truly was historic, all things considered. The governor won historically blue Miami-Dade County by 11 percentage points, Palm Beach by three, Osceola by seven and Pinellas by 11.
In a victory speech delivered Tuesday evening, DeSantis declared that his reign has "rewritten the political map" after pulling out a narrow win against former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum just four years ago.
"I just want to let you know I am honored to have earned your trust and your support," he emphasized. "We have embraced freedom. We have maintained law and order. We have protected the rights of parents. We have respected our taxpayers, and we reject woke ideology."
DeSantis officially leads Crist by 19.4 percentage points, 59.4% to 40%, with all precincts reporting.
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