Live Results: Incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis, a national Republican star, defeats Democrat Charlie Crist in Florida's gubernatorial election

Crist DeSantis 2x1
Rebecca Blackwell/AP Photo; Crystal Vander Weit/ via AP; Insider
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis defeated Democrat Charlie Crist.

  • DeSantis broke a gubernatorial record in fundraising, per a nonpartisan politics research organization.

  • This win could set DeSantis up for a Republican presidential primary in 2024.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, defeated Democrat Charlie Crist, who resigned his congressional seat in August after his primary victory.



Florida's gubernatorial candidates

DeSantis has been governor of Florida since 2018 and is the youngest governor in the United States. Before that, he was a congressman representing Florida's 6th District for five years.

DeSantis was an unexpected winner in the 2018 GOP primary, running against better-known Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. But DeSantis was able to score the nomination in large part thanks to an endorsement by then-President Donald Trump.

Still, DeSantis won the 2018 gubernatorial race against Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a Democrat, by only half a percentage point, or less than 34,000 votes. He's expected to win by far larger margins on November 8.

Crist held the role of governor from 2007 to 2011, albeit as a Republican. He also unsuccessfully ran for the US Senate and to get his old job back. He became a Democrat in 2012 and endorsed former President Barack Obama for re-election. In 2016, he was elected to the US House, where his district included St. Petersburg.

Voting history for Florida

Florida went twice for Obama, and then twice for Trump. The Sunshine State has long been known as the largest swing state in the United States, but that may be changing.

DeSantis is popular in Florida after bucking advice from federal health officials during the earlier days of the COVID-19 pandemic. He has developed national name recognition, with many in the GOP wondering whether he'll be the Trump successor to the MAGA movement.

Crist is the underdog in the race largely because Republicans have out-registered Democrats by roughly 270,000 Floridians.

The money race

DeSantis has raised an astounding amount of cash for a gubernatorial race, which is one of the reasons that the political world is abuzz over whether he'll run for president in 2024.

DeSantis broke a gubernatorial record in fundraising, according to the nonpartisan money-in-politics research organization OpenSecrets. His political action committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, raised nearly $206 million as of November 2, according to the Florida Department of State Division of Elections. DeSantis through his campaign raised roughly another $108,000.

Crist has raised almost one-seventh the amount of his challenger. He reported raising $31 million through his campaign and PAC, according to the Miami Herald.

What experts say

The Cook Political Report classified the race as "likely Republican."

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