Republican Ron DeSantis Elected Florida Governor, Beats Andrew Gillum

Republican Ron DeSantis Elected Florida Governor, Beats Andrew Gillum

Bill Nelson in his Senate race against Gov. Rick Scott.

But what the party didn't expect was that Republican turnout would also spike as President Donald Trump ramped up his own campaign and stumped hard for Scott and DeSantis.

The Florida race in particular appeared to be coming down to the wire.

Ron DeSantis will be the next Florida governor, extending Republican control of the state's highest office to a sixth straight four-year term and proving that a candidacy nearly entirely about President Donald Trump can win the top office in a major state.

The new totals show that DeSantis is ahead of Democrat Andrew Gillum by 0.57 percent of the vote or 46,722 votes. Furthermore, in the last days of the campaign the polls seemed to move show a gorwing Nelson lead, suggesting that this race would move in the direction of those "fundamental" election factors.

Steve Schale, a longtime Democratic strategist, recounted talking to a reporter 14 years ago about Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Betty Castor's narrow lost to Republican Mel Martinez.

Both candidates secured significant donations from real estate professionals in South Florida and throughout the state.

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A supporter of tax cuts and President Donald Trump's Supreme Court choices and a critic of Obamacare, Scott promises to be a reliable vote in support of Trump's agenda. They deny the charges. Gillum supports a ban on assault weapons and wants to repeal Florida's stand your ground law.

Besides flipping two Republican U.S. House seats, the other victory for Democrats was a constitutional amendment that will restore the voting rights of most felons who have completed all terms of their sentences. "Let the chips fall where they may". If he wins the general election, he'd be the first Black Governor in the state's history.

Of the past 26 statewide races, including presidential contests and Cabinet elections, Democrats have won just five. Youth votes, which went heavily for Gillum, soared, but not enough to overcome the elderly vote, which was dominated by DeSantis. Neither Georgia nor Florida has elected a Democratic governor in 20 years. In some states, a governor's power to sign or veto congressional maps could decide the partisan balance.

The next largest differences were in Miami-Dade County, where about 1,900 more people voted for a Senate candidate than for governor, and Duval, where about 1,800 more people voted in the governor's race than the Senate race, according to the preliminary state results.

But for now, Republicans maintain their dominance in Florida - even if by the slimmest of margins. Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania - where Democratic incumbent Tom Wolf easily won re-election on Tuesday - are typically Democratic states that swung to Trump in 2016, handing him the presidency.

Voters in Florida have a rare clear choice between a rock-solid conservative and a democratic socialist for governor.

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