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No Wonder They're Worried: New Florida Poll Spells Even More Bad News for Dems

Screenshot via YouTube/NationalConservatism

When I first saw tweets and headlines about this particular poll, I didn't understand why people were sharing it so eagerly.  So what if DeSantis is ahead by seven points in Florida?  If anything, that would be something of a 'shrug' result, given that he's held double-digit advantages over Charlie Crist in four recent statewide surveys.  Then it clicked.  He's not ahead by seven overall, per these numbers.  That's his lead among Hispanics, specifically.  

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This is quite a headline from NBC News:

From the story

Overall, DeSantis leads Crist by 51% to 44% statewide among those voters, and 56% approve of the job the governor is doing, compared with 41% who don’t, the survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, found. DeSantis lost Hispanic voters by 10 percentage points when he was elected in 2018, exit polls showed, and if he wins them Nov. 8, it would all but ensure his victory in a state where Democrats traditionally need to rely on solid support from Hispanic and Black voters to overcome Republican advantages with white voters. Florida Latinos have shifted rightward since 2018...The Martha’s Vineyard flight resulted in widespread condemnation, lawsuits, questions about the contract and DeSantis' reported use of migrant labor to coordinate the effort, and a Texas criminal investigation over whether the migrants were criminally misled. DeSantis hasn’t undertaken any more known migrant relocation flights, and Biden has changed his border policy concerning Venezuelans.

Amid all the controversy, Florida Hispanics side with the governor on the Martha’s Vineyard flight, with 50% in favor and 43% opposed to the relocation, according to the poll. Independents joined Republicans in lending majority support to the governor on the issue while Democrats were opposed. Support for DeSantis’ migrant relocation move was strongest among Hispanic immigrants. Those born outside the United States favored the policy by 52% to 41%, according to the poll. Those born in the United States were almost equally divided, with 49% in favor and 45% opposed...DeSantis has run 10 times more TV ads in Spanish than Crist, who is trailing DeSantis overall in the polls and in total ad spending, and is at a huge financial disadvantage in the race...Crist’s sole Spanish-language TV ad tracked by AdImpact features his running mate, Karla Hernandez-Mats, the president of the teachers union in Miami-Dade County...

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There's a lot to unpack from that excerpt alone. Hispanics side with DeSantis on his successful Martha's Vineyard stunt, with stronger support among Hispanic immigrants who were born outside of the United States.  NBC News frames the migrant relocation move as negatively as possible, yet Florida's Republicans, Independents and Hispanics all favored it.  The article notes that DeSantis is heavily outspending Crist, including on Spanish-language media buys.  The DeSantis campaign is spending money targeting Hispanic voters with messages about open schools and businesses.  The Crist campaign is using its limited resources to air a single Spanish-language ad touting Crist's running mate, a radical teachers union boss who pushed to keep schools closed.  What a contrast.  I suspect DeSantis will be eager to discuss it during tonight's debate, the only one of the cycle in this race.  The Democrats have decided to deploy President Biden to South Florida, a longtime Democratic stronghold.  Why?  To raise money for Crist and to campaign for the party's ticket.  They're anxious down in overwhelmingly-Hispanic Miami-Dade:

Florida Democrats are fretting over Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ popularity among Latinos, saying they are boosting his chances of becoming the first Republican governor in 20 years to win traditionally blue Miami-Dade County and therefore propelling his chances of a successful presidential run in 2024. Miami-Dade, the state's most populous county, is 70% Hispanic. The last time a Republican governor won Miami-Dade County was Jeb Bush in 2002. Unlike DeSantis, Bush held press conferences in fluent Spanish and his wife is Mexican-born...Hillary Clinton won Miami-Dade County by almost 30 points in 2016, but Biden won the county by only 7 points....Berrios and Murphy Anderson said they have held over 2,000 conversations with Hispanic voters in Miami-Dade. Aside from high enthusiasm for DeSantis among Republicans, about 29% of those with no party affiliation and 25% of Democrats said they were voting for DeSantis.

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No wonder they're concerned. And the alarm, as the article lays out, extends beyond 2022. Democrats worry that a dominant DeSantis re-election victory would make him a formidable national opponent in 2024. Their fears have been palpable for quite some time, hence the deluge of attacks on DeSantis by the news media over the last few years. He was never supposed to have won in the first place, after all:

Of course, the Democrats may well end up with a strong ally in seeking to bring down DeSantis: Donald Trump.  The former president is currently publicly attacking DeSantis for...helping a Republican Senate nominee over an incumbent Democrat in Colorado.  Why?  Because that Republican has been insufficiently slavish in his personal devotion to Trump, in a state Trump lost by double digits last cycle:

Republican voters will have some interesting choices to make in the coming months and years, but task number one is the midterms.  On that score, I'll leave you with a few notes and nuggets from other 2022 states in which Hispanic voters will be a significant factor.  Nevada (encouraging early data for Republicans):

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Arizona (Democrats' gubernatorial nominee using the wrong word in her Hispanics hashtag):

And Texas:

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