Crist Cruises to Victory in Florida Primary

But he won't defeat DeSantis unless there's a 'major, major scandal,' analyst says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2022 8:20 PM CDT
Crist Will Face DeSantis in November
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried concedes the race to Rep. Charlie Crist Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.   (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

The result of one of Tuesday's closest-watched votes is in: The AP reports that Rep. Charlie Crist has won the Democratic primary for Florida governor and will challenge Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in November. With 90% of the vote in, Crist had almost 60% of the vote compared to around 35% for Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the only Democrat holding statewide office In Florida, reports NBC. This will be Crist's third run for governor: He was elected as a Republican in 2006. After switching parties, he ran as a Democrat in 2014 but narrowly lost to Rick Scott.

Allies of DeSantis see re-election as governor as a stepping stone toward a 2024 White House run, the AP notes. Fried, who ran to the left of Crist, congratulated him and urged her supporters to get behind him. "We are going to make Ronald DeSantis a one-term governor and a zero-term president of the United States," she said. Crist said of DeSantis: "This guy wants to be president of the United States of America and everybody knows it. However, when we defeat them on Nov. 8 that show is over. Enough." But DeSantis is leading in the polls—and has a much bigger war chest—and analysts believe the Republican will probably cruise to re-election.

"Fatalistic is probably the best word to describe Democrats’ mood," Sean Phillippi, a Democratic data scientist in Florida, tells NBC. For the first time, there are now more registered Republicans than Democrats in the state and Philippi believes the situation looks bleak for Democrats. "The voter registration information is very telling and very predictive," he says. "You can’t write the story of how Charlie Crist beats Ron DeSantis unless there’s a major, major scandal none of us knows about right now or where Democrats register hundreds of thousands of new voters." (Read more Florida stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.