DeSantis defeated Gillum in Florida partly due to wave of Hispanic voters going Republican

Florida voters shifted more than 36 percent of its registered voters into the Republican column in the November 2017 elections.

That shift represented the first time Republican registration exceeded Democrat registration in the Sunshine State since 1976, The Palm Beach Post reports.

Under Mr. DeSantis, Florida Democrats were not only down by 36 percent, but saw their proportion of the total vote drop by even more – 55 percent.

More specifically, Mr. DeSantis won the Florida gubernatorial election against Andrew Gillum, the Orlando-area mayor, in no small part due to a heavy presence of Republican voters, and an aggressive campaign strategy that made pointing at Mr. Gillum’s lack of experience and poor immigration record a central component of its strategy.

The Washington Post reports that several of Mr. DeSantis’ running mates, including his running mate for lieutenant governor, Jeanette Nunez, are also Cuban-American. Their endorsements from the Florida Democratic Party made it look as though Mr. DeSantis was running on a broad plank of anti-immigrant rhetoric. Mr. DeSantis had entered the race promising to deport undocumented immigrants without criminal records. During his primary run, he famously held up a sign in an Instagram video saying, “Kick [Mr. Gillum] out!”

He has also taken a hard line on his signature issue of immigration, promising to crack down on sanctuary cities and crack down on “sanctuary states.”

Although Democrats have a strong volunteer turnout effort, they cannot rely on Latinos turning out in the same numbers that they have in past years to put Mr. Gillum in the governor’s mansion.

On Tuesday, the Miami Herald reported that Mr. Gillum himself may have underestimated how hard it would be to turn out every Democratic voter in the state.

Mr. Gillum, the Democratic Party’s political director, said last week in a Sunday editorial that she has been “contemplating for months why Florida voters don’t show up at the polls with abandon, making them second-class citizens when it comes to participation in their civic process.”

By Tuesday, he had tweeted out a link to an article he wrote entitled, “Mission: Voter Outreach?” and attached a photo of himself with a quote from James Baldwin: “If we didn’t have a Constitution to protect us against the crazy, shameful forces that run this country, we would have none.”

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