MIAMI.- The candidates for the midterm elections in Florida have this Monday their last chance to attract voters in a state in which the Republicans start as favorites and where they have been able to take a look at what the primaries of that party could be for the presidential elections of 2024.
Registered Republican voters in Florida cast more than 1.1 million ballots in the early voting period that ended Sunday against just over 670,000 Democrats, according to the state Elections Division, which also reported that more than 435,000 voted. people not registered in the two main parties.
The numbers favor Democrats when it comes to voting by mail, where they number just over a million, ahead of the more than 920,000 Republicans. More than 516,000 independents or who do not belong to one of these groups sent their vote by mail.
These figures are repeated in Miami-Dade, the most populous county in Florida which, judging by the largest Republican participation in the early vote, tomorrow Tuesday could lose its status as an unbeatable Democratic fiefdom in the last two decades.
The possible re-election of Republican Ron DeSantis as governor – the average polls give him more than ten percentage points of margin over his rival, the Democrat Charlie Crist – could certify that Florida has been formally dyed red, the characteristic color of the Republican Party, and it has abandoned its nature as a hinge state, that is to say that it leans towards either of the two parties.
In 2018 DeSantis won the governorship by some 30,000 votes over Democrat Andrew Gillum, but in Miami he lost by 21 percentage points.
Four years later, DeSantis can win Miami-Dade, where the last time a Republican was the top-voted gubernatorial candidate was Jeb Bush in 2002.
THE LOOK AT THE 2024 PRESIDENTIALS
The other key contest on election day in Florida is the Senate seat held by Marco Rubio and which, according to polls, he may keep, as he is ahead of his opponent, Democrat Val Demings, who will be holding campaign rallies today at the Broward County, neighboring Miami-Dade County.
The senator of Cuban origin prevails by about seven percentage points over the African-American and former police chief of Orlando, a city in the center of the state where both were proselytizing over the weekend, in the case of the legislator with the script of his party in these elections: protect public health, education and women’s reproductive rights.
Rubio has not lost support among the Latino electorate and especially the Cuban-Americans, who are the majority among Hispanics in South Florida, a population that, according to some analysts, is more aware of the economic situation of the country than issues of a social nature (abortion or the rights of the LGBTQ community).
The campaign for these midterm elections in Florida has allowed us to see a glimpse of what may be the main duel in the Republican primary elections to choose the presidential candidate in 2024:
Neither DeSantis nor former President Donald Trump have confirmed that they are seeking the nomination, but they have made it clear that they already treat each other as rivals.