OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has defeated his Democratic challenger Charlie Crist in Florida’s gubernatorial race.
DeSantis was in a fantastic spot heading into Tuesday night after raising a record-breaking $200 million for his re-election campaign. By comparison, Crist only raised around $31 million, Politico reported. DeSantis has only spent around $100,000 on his campaign which means he still has around $90 million left in the bank.
BREAKING: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) wins re-election in a blowout against opponent Charlie Crist (D). pic.twitter.com/QF3kHdhriS
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) November 9, 2022
BREAKING: Governor Ron DeSantis (R) wins re-election as Florida Governor. pic.twitter.com/FILd7Swa8R
— Election Wizard 🇺🇸 (@ElectionWiz) November 9, 2022
Ron DeSantis won his last gubernatorial race by 30,000 votes. He turned that into a historically large victory and along with the rest of the state GOP, turned a heretofore purple state bright red. Good things to remember for Republicans going forward.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) November 9, 2022
BREAKING: Ron DeSantis has been projected to win re-election in Florida. pic.twitter.com/WOIGvg3XxI
— LifeNews.com (@LifeNewsHQ) November 9, 2022
Politico believes that the extra $90 million could be used for a possible 2024 presidential campaign.
“If you look at where the money is coming from, it’s indicative of Gov. DeSantis being seen by national donors as the de facto frontrunner for president,” Republican lobbyist Slater Bayliss said.
“I think people on the left do not think their candidates sell out, and on the right we think ours cut deals, and are more pragmatic,” he said. “Former President Trump’s whole brand on the Republican side was that he does not sell out.”
“Gov. DeSantis has built on that,” he said, “And is taken more seriously by many Republican donors.”
Other governors who have taken in massive hauls in recent election cycles include self-financers like Meg Whitman, whose $176 million during the 2010 California gubernatorial campaign included $144 million of her own money. Illinois Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker nearly entirely self-funded his $176 million 2018 campaign and $133 million reelection bid.
Texas Republican Greg Abbot, meanwhile, raised $116 million for his 2022 reelection bid. But Democratic gubernatorial nominee Beto O’Rourke — who has outraised him since the summer — has forced Abbott to outspend his opponent by wide margins. Now, Abbott is left with less cash on hand than O’Rourke for the second reporting period in a row, with his overall coffers hitting a nearly two-decade low.
“It has long been said that ‘money is the mother’s milk of politics,’” Florida Republican consultant David Johnson said. “The DeSantis team has built a national dairy farm to table operation in just four years. We have seen large networked donor operations on a grand scale operate in the past, to some great effect.”
“Team DeSantis is more notable because it is small, fierce and reaping such huge amounts,” he said.
Former President Donald Trump’s team is reportedly eying November 14, roughly a week after the midterm elections, to announce a 2024 presidential run.
“Trump and his top advisers have been signaling for weeks that a 2024 announcement is imminent. But those discussions have reached the point that allies are blocking off days in their calendars for the week after the midterms — and preparing to travel,” Axios reported.
“With polls pointing toward a good night for Republicans on Tuesday, Trump plans to surf the GOP’s expected post-midterm euphoria to build momentum for his own effort to retake the White House. Look for Trump to take credit for Republican victories across the board —including those he propelled with his endorsements, and even those he had nothing to do with. In recent weeks, Trump has been inching closer and closer to saying he is running, relishing the applause as he hints to his rally crowds that he’s doing it,” the report added.
The Axios report notes that “discussions are still fluid and could change depending on Tuesday’s results, especially if the Senate still hangs in the balance and the Georgia race between Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock goes to a run-off.”
At his Thursday rally in Iowa, Trump told the crowd: “In order to make our country successful and safe and glorious, I will very, very, very probably do it again … Get ready that’s all I’m telling you — very soon. Get ready.”
Scoop: Former President Trump's inner circle is discussing announcing the launch of a 2024 presidential campaign on Nov. 14 — with the official announcement possibly followed by a multi-day series of political events. https://t.co/6FsXAjrMsa
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) November 4, 2022
Earlier this week, Trump predicted that Republicans will gain control of the U.S. House and have a “good chance” to win back the U.S. Senate in next week’s midterms.
“I think that we have a good chance at the Senate,” Trump told the “Chris Stigall Show,” adding, “Good chance, we had no chance three months ago. Now we have a chance of getting 51, 52 seats in the Senate. And I think the House is going to do pretty well, I think we’re going to be up by maybe a substantial number.”
The Senate is currently deadlocked at 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote for Democrats.