Ballots are still being counted as American wait on the edge of their seats for the outcome, anticipating either the conservative hoped-for Red Wave or a continued Democratic stronghold, depending on their party.
Republicans are gaining ground, and late Tuesday, Ron DeSantis defeated his Democratic challenger Charlie Crist in Florida’s gubernatorial race with a huge outpouring of GOP votes, most noticeably in Miami, which has been a former blue area.
DeSantis was in a fantastic spot heading into Tuesday night after raising a record-breaking $200 million for his re-election campaign. By comparison, Crist only raised around $31 million, Politico reported. DeSantis has only spent around $100,000 on his campaign which means he still has around $90 million left in the bank. Politico believes that the extra $90 million could be used for a possible 2024 presidential campaign.
“If you look at where the money is coming from, it’s indicative of Gov. DeSantis being seen by national donors as the de facto frontrunner for president,” Republican lobbyist Slater Bayliss said.
“I think people on the left do not think their candidates sell out, and on the right, we think ours cut deals and are more pragmatic,” he said. “Former President Trump’s whole brand on the Republican side was that he does not sell out.”
“Gov. DeSantis has built on that,” he said, “And is taken more seriously by many Republican donors.”
Trump, prior to Tuesday’s midterm elections has given indications that he would announce another 2024 presidential bid on Nov. 15. Some analysts also expected that decision to be based on the outcome of Tuesday’s elections, so it’s possible Trump may change his mind.
The speculation over the possibility of DeSantis running as a 2024 presidential candidate has prompted questions to former President Trump in regard to DeSantis. Recently, Trump was under fire as he joked about DeSantis and played him down, suggesting that DeSantis is not yet ready for the National scene. Many think that DeSantis is a natural for the Oval Office, but not in 2024.
Trump has loudly supported DeSantis in his position as governor of Florida, saying at a rally this week, “the people of Florida are going to reelect the wonderful, the great friend of mine, Marco Rubia, to the United States Senate, and you’re going to reelect Ron DeSantis as your governor.”
But as someone who is expected to throw his hat in the ring in the next presidential election, Trump has also downplayed his fellow Republicans who might be considered against him in primaries. On Saturday in Florida, Trump pointed out his numbers including a jab at DeSantis and his former VP, “We’re winning big, big, big in the Republican Party for the nomination like nobody’s ever seen before. Let’s see, there it is: Trump at 71. Ron DeSanctimonious at 10 percent. Mike Pence at 7 – oh, Mike’s doing better than I thought.”
The fallout from the jibe has the media creating a feud between the two popular Republicans, but Trump had the answer on Tuesday.
Former President Donald Trump gave a brief three-word response on Election Day when he was asked if he cast a ballot for the governor of his home state of Florida, Ron DeSantis.
Trump and former first lady Melania Trump were seen in a video clip walking together when a reporter shouted, “Did you vote for Gov. DeSantis?” Trump paused briefly, turned, and said, “Yes, I did.”
There you go.
JUST IN: Donald Trump says he voted for Gov. Ron DeSantis in Floridapic.twitter.com/JirUgib2cr
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) November 8, 2022
Conservative Brief noted that Politico analyzed other political jockeying for position:
Other governors who have taken in massive hauls in recent election cycles include self-financers like Meg Whitman, whose $176 million during the 2010 California gubernatorial campaign included $144 million of her own money. Illinois Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker nearly entirely self-funded his $176 million 2018 campaign and $133 million reelection bid.
Texas Republican Greg Abbot, meanwhile, raised $116 million for his 2022 reelection bid. But Democratic gubernatorial nominee Beto O’Rourke — who has outraised him since the summer — has forced Abbott to outspend his opponent by wide margins. Now, Abbott is left with less cash on hand than O’Rourke for the second reporting period in a row, with his overall coffers hitting a nearly two-decade low.
“It has long been said that ‘money is the mother’s milk of politics,’” Florida Republican consultant David Johnson said. “The DeSantis team has built a national dairy farm-to-table operation in just four years. We have seen large networked donor operations on a grand scale operate in the past, to some great effect.”
As for Trump, he and “his top advisers have been signaling for weeks that a 2024 announcement is imminent. But those discussions have reached the point that allies are blocking off days in their calendars for the week after the midterms — and preparing to travel,” Axios reported. “In recent weeks, Trump has been inching closer and closer to saying he is running, relishing the applause as he hints to his rally crowds that he’s doing it,” the report added.