Almost 4.8 million ballots had already been cast in Florida by Sunday night, with Republican outnumbering Democrats in the state by just over 321,000 early votes. The GOP is hoping to reelect Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is also a likely contender in the 2024 presidential election.
According to News 4 Jax, even Miami-Dade County – which is typically a Democrat stronghold – has seen a growing number of early Republican votes. So far, the GOP has cast 6,055 more ballots in the county than Democrats.
The surge of Republican votes in Miami-Dade County came despite President Joe Biden’s visit to the area in a last-minute push for Democrat midterm candidates. Local 10 reported that the county is home to nearly 1.5 million voting-age Hispanics, a demographic that has shifted right in recent years.
A recent Telemundo/LX News poll, as reported by NBC News, showed that most Hispanic voters support DeSantis over his Democrat opponent Charlie Crist. Across the state, DeSantis tops Crist by 51 percent to 44 percent among Hispanic voters.
Sean Foreman, a political science professor at Barry University in Miami, told Axios that most Hispanic voters are “less concerned with social issues and more concerned about following the American dream and the economy.”
“Abortion being Charlie Crist’s main talking point doesn’t really resonate with Hispanic voters,” he added.
On Monday, DeSantis encouraged everyone to vote to “KeepFloridaFree.”
“Tomorrow, we’re going to carry the torch of freedom onward & ensure Florida’s future is secure for generations. We will make sure that freedom prevails in the Sunshine State. But we need every Floridian to get out & VOTE to make it happen. Stand with us. Let’s #KeepFloridaFree,” he tweeted.
Crist also encouraged Floridians to vote, tweeting, “Tomorrow, we have the opportunity to protect choice, lower costs, and guarantee freedoms in Florida — so vote.”
Early voting turnout is set to rival the 2018 midterms, with more than 11 million ballots already cast by late October for the upcoming midterm elections, according to data from the United States Election Project.