The once-purple state of Florida has been shaded red as Republicans score major victories in the former battleground.
Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) crushed their Democrat rivals in their respective elections.
Once the nation’s premier swing state, the electoral battleground famously handed then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush the presidency in 2000 with a margin of just 500 votes.
On Tuesday night, however, Republicans shellacked Democrats in Florida’s statewide elections.
The victories have secured Florida’s new status as a red state.
Florida no longer has a single Democrat holding statewide office.
“Thanks to the overwhelming support of the people of Florida, we not only won election, we have re-written the political map,” Gov. DeSantis proclaimed at his Election Night victory celebration.
“Thank you for honoring us with a win for the ages.”
In 2018, DeSantis narrowly won the governor’s office.
In 2022, however, it was a different story as DeSantis crushed his 2022 Democratic challenger, former GOP governor turned former Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist.
According to the latest results, DeSantis pummeled Crist by close to 20 points.
The win tops then-Republican Gov. Jeb Bush’s resounding 13-point re-election victory in 2002.
It was a similar story in the state’s Senate race.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio made history as the first Republican in the Sunshine State to win a third six-year term.
Rubio’s victory comes even though he was dramatically outraised and outspent by Democratic challenger Rep. Val Demings.
According to the latest vote count, Rubio won re-election by over 16-points.
Fueling the GOP wave in Florida is the party’s increasing support from Hispanic voters.
Hispanics are one of the fastest-growing demographic groups in the state.
“It’s great to be here, gathered in the red county of Miami-Dade,” Rubio touted in his victory speech.
Miami-Dade County is Florida’s most populous, with over two million residents, and has long been a Democrat stronghold.
Nevertheless, Rubio and DeSantis both carried the county on Tuesday.
Rubio, who’s Cuban American and is the state’s longest-serving Hispanic politician, is recognized as a driving force in Republican efforts to win over Spanish-speaking voters in Florida.
Former President Barack Obama narrowly carried Florida in the 2008 and 2012 elections.
In 2016, President Donald Trump won the state by a razor-thin margin.
Thanks to the inroads Trump made in Miami-Dade in the 2020 presidential election, he widened his victory margin in the entire state, carrying it by roughly three and a half points over now-President Biden.
Longtime Republican pollster Neil Newhouse, a veteran of numerous presidential and statewide campaigns, noted that “Republicans have connected with voters on issues they care about, and Democrats are not talking about the concerns voters have on a day-to-day basis.
“That combined with the appeal to Hispanic voters has turned the tide in Florida from a purple state to a red state.”
For Democrats, prospects are bleak in Florida.
Kevin Cate, a veteran Florida-based communications consultant and a veteran of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, tweeted earlier on Tuesday that “it’s that bad.
“We either reset or go extinct.”