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‘El Gobernador’: DeSantis Winning the Latino Vote By a Lot, Poll Shows

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Governor Ron DeSantis, the rising star of the conservative movement, received excellent news this Tuesday after the University of North Florida released a poll showing the governor with a comfortable lead over both Democratic candidates, Nikki Fried and Charlie Crist. Most interestingly, however, is that the survey has Ron DeSantis winning the Latino vote by a very healthy margin.

According to the UNF poll, the Republican governor would easily beat either Commissioner Fried or Rep. Charlie Crist if the election were held today. DeSantis would garner 50% of the vote to Fried’s 43% and Crist’s 42%, which is a substantial lead in a state that has been well known for having very close elections over the last 20 years.

The poll also shows that the Governor has highest approval numbers than any other of the statewide elected officials, as 50% of respondents either strongly or somewhat approve of the job he is doing as governor, a number that neither of the Republican Senators nor Nikki Fried was able to get. However, the survey also shows that the governor awakens strong opposition, as 48% of people either strongly or somewhat disapprove of his job performance.

Voters will decide this November if DeSantis gets a second term in Florida (EFE)

However, this +2 net approval for DeSantis is something that many national politicians would dream of. President Biden is on track to become the most unpopular president since polls are taken, former President Trump also has a substantial net disapproval, and both leaders of Congress (Pelosi and Schumer) are deeply unpopular to the American public.

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The fact that DeSantis is keeping a net approval rating in a state as close as Florida (Trump only defeated Biden by four points in 2020) is remarkable. To put these numbers into context, governor and 2024 hopeful Gavin Newson, from deeply Democratic California, only has a +4 net approval rating, despite leading a state that voted for Biden by an overwhelming margin.

Ron DeSantis winning the Latino vote is a doomsday scenario for Florida Democrats 

Arguably one of the best news out of the UNF poll is that the Republican governor would get 55% of the Hispanic vote in Florida if the election were to be held right now, a healthy 20-point advantage over both Crist and Fried. They are garnering less than 36% of the Latino vote. A 20-point win among Latinos would be a massive blow to the Democrat’s hopes to win the governorship for the first time in over 20 years, as even when they garner a majority of the Hispanic vote, they still lose the state.

Moreover, most Latinos are not only willing to vote for DeSantis but also approve of his job as Governor. The survey shows that 59% of Hispanics approve of DeSantis’ job as governor, a higher number than any of the other statewide officials that UNF polled. Most auspiciously for the Governor is that half of the Hispanic respondents strongly approve of his job performance, making it easier for him to convert those numbers into votes when November comes.

DeSantis’ good standing with the Florida Latino electorate marks a significant shift in favor of the Republican Governor compared with his first election in 2018, as political strategist Giancarlo Sopo noted. According to CNN exit polls, DeSantis only won 44% of the Hispanic vote back then, which was just enough to push him over the line and beat Andrew Gillum in an extremely close race. If the UNF poll is to be believed, then DeSantis would have managed to get a net 10-point swing in his favor among Florida Latinos.

In remarks to El American, campaign spokesperson Lindsey Curnutte said about the Latino enthusiasm for the Governor that “If Democrats spent less time trying to make Latinx happen, cozying up to communist dictators, and calling Hispanics “breakfast tacos,” they might be doing a little better. Floridians care about the economy, parental rights, the environment, and public safety. That is what Governor DeSantis is focused on, and that is why there is so much enthusiasm for his Freedom Agenda across the state of Florida.”

ron-desantis-winning-the-latino-vote

The governor of Florida is the favorite to win the Gubernatorial election this November (EFE)

Although the sample of Latino respondents is small (153 out of the 1,624 respondents), and the data should be taken with some caution, the numbers clearly show the governor has momentum on his side to win the Latino vote. Even this “small” sample size of Latinos is more significant than those of other polls like YouGov.

The poll is the latest one showing the gains the Republican Party made with the Hispanic electorate in 2020 were not a fluke and that the GOP has a perfect chance of shifting the historical preference of the Latino vote for the Democratic party, which would be a seismic shift in the American political landscape.

For Democrats, this is a hazardous sign. Even when they won the Latino vote by 10 points, their candidate could not defeat DeSantis in a blue wave election, then losing Hispanics by 20 points would make it almost impossible.

Daniel is a Political Science and Economics student from the University of South Florida. He worked as a congressional intern to Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) from January to May 2020. He also is the head of international analysis at Politiks // Daniel es un estudiante de Cs Políticas y Economía en la Universidad del Sur de la Florida. Trabajo como pasante legislativo para el Representate Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) desde enero hasta mayo del 2020. Daniel también es el jefe de análisis internacional de Politiks.

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