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Tipsheet

Democrat Gubernatorial Hopefuls in Florida Don't Hold a Candle to DeSantis

AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

The numbers tell all when it comes to what Floridians think of Gov. Ron DeSantis and his Democrat challengers, and no numbers tell more than DeSantis' soaring fundraising totals and widespread party support.

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Representative Charlie Crist (D-FL) represents Florida's 13th Congressional district, which encompasses Pinellas County, Florida's sixth most populous county, which currently leans red. Nikki Fried (D-FL) is the state's agriculture commissioner. Both Crist and Fried, along with two other Democrats who have minimal campaign presence, have launched gubernatorial campaigns against DeSantis and will be competing in the August 23 primary election in the Sunshine State. But ,neither are as universally supported in their party as DeSantis.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Fried scraped together a little more than $300,000 in May, getting her up to a total of about $6.9 million for her whole campaign. Crist raised about $1 million the same month, which took him to about $10 million total funds raised.

DeSantis raised $10 million in the month of May alone. That got him up to about $124 million in total funds raised.

While it's important, money is not the only thing that wins elections. Voters win elections. DeSantis is doing well in that area too. For one, as the incumbent, DeSantis is already miles ahead of Crist and Fried.

According to Ballotpedia, incumbent win rates at the congressional, state, and local levels were 90% or higher in all but four states in the 2020 election. Even before 2020, incumbent reelection rates from 1964 until 2020 have not dipped below 85%.

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This alone gives DeSantis a significant leg up against his challengers. He is also the only Republican on the ballot this November. The Republican primary was cancelled after the other Republican challengers withdrew. Republicans also outnumber Democrats in Florida by about 100,000, as Townhall reported — which hasn't been the case for years. People who are switching their party registration in Florida are largely switching to the Republican party.

Some Florida Dems are feeling triumphant after seeing the results of a recent poll which favored Crist by one percentage point.

A single percentage point is a negligible statistical difference though, especially since the poll's margin of error is 2.9%. Additionally, all the polltakers were registered voters but not necessarily likely voters, meaning the poll does not give an entirely accurate image of how the ballots will actually look in November.

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In recent polls, Crist is favored over Fried by Florida Democrats. But, he's not exactly a stalwart of liberal values. In fact, he has already served as Governor of Florida, but at the time, he was elected as a Republican — something Dems are not quite ready to forget.

Fried is much more progressive than Crist, so she's preferred by Floridians that are further left. But as mentioned above, Florida leans red right now. Not to mention, Crist has the advantage of familiarity, even if some of it is negative. Fried is also building a large part of her campaign on her opposition to Crist, which assures just one thing: that Florida Democrats remain divided.

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