DeSantis and Rubio reclaim their seats, reinforcing Florida’s red state status

Political experts say the swing state is seeing a massive red wave, which could be influential to both the House and Senate.

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Florida solidified itself heavily as a red state as both Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio won their races in the midterm elections Tuesday night.

Incumbent candidate Gov. Ron DeSantis won by a large margin against Democrat Charlie Crist. Politico reported that this is the widest winning margin in a Florida gubernatorial race (57-42) since Jeb Bush’s 2002 win.

According to a New York Times report, DeSantis is widely seen as the “Republican who poses the biggest threat to Donald J. Trump if they both run for president in 2024.” With speculation of Trump announcing his campaign, this win could give DeSantis an edge.

Additionally, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) will enter his third term as Florida’s senator after defeating his Democratic opponent Rep. Val Demings.

These wins mark a significant shift to the right for the swing state, according to the New York Times’ Lazaro Gamio. Eight counties that voted for Biden in 2020 shifted as much as 16 points in DeSantis’ race and 12 points in Rubio’s, he said.

Florida’s new position as a seemingly red state will influence policy changes, specifically regarding state legislation on abortion, contraception and LGBTQ+ rights.

Ira Reiner, former Los Angeles County District Attorney, stated in a panel at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism that losing Democrats in both the House of Representatives and Senate would be “a train wreck.”

Historically, the party out of power – in this case the Republican party – will pick up “30 to 40 seats at a time,” according to Reiner. With a Democratic president and a Republican House, legislative policy can be stuck in gridlock.

“It’s not going to be an easy ride between now and 2024,” Reiner said. “If the Republicans have the House, but if the Democrats can hold on to the Senate, it won’t be a car crash.”