On a night when any hopes of a Republican electoral landslide quickly fizzled, the red wave still rode strongly in at least one place: Florida.
Not only did Gov. Ron DeSantis win re-election, but he cruised to victory by an unexpectedly wide margin on a night when many other GOP candidates generally underperformed.
With over 95 percent of the votes in, according to The Associated Press, DeSantis led former Gov. Charlie Crist by a 59.4 percent to 40.0 percent margin — a nearly 20-point victory for the incumbent over his Democratic rival. That’s well over the RealClearPolitics polling average of a 12.2 percent lead for DeSantis.
What’s more, DeSantis won Miami-Dade County by 11 points. That’s a huge notch in his belt, as he lost the liberal South Florida stronghold by over 20 points in his close 2018 victory over Democrat Andrew Gillum.
DeSantis lost Miami-Dade by 20 points in 2018.
That’s a 25-30 point swing in 4 years.
— John LeFevre (@JohnLeFevre) November 9, 2022
With DeSantis’ numbers stunning even seasoned political analysts, ABC News’ Maria Elena Salinas had an explanation for it: “disinformation.”
Salinas made that claim a little after 8:30 p.m. Eastern as the totality of DeSantis’ victory was sinking in, according to the Media Research Center. The analyst, previously of Univision, told host David Muir that Democrats had “been very slowly losing Florida to the Republicans.”
“And when I see those numbers, blue, Miami-Dade as you can see on that map, Miami-Dade is probably the bluest county in the state,” she said. “I mean, I see it every day out my window, the blue ocean there and it’s very blue, but this time, it looks like it’s going red.”
Why? Do you even need to ask?
“It’s the Democrats that have themselves to blame for this because they really have not fought back,” Salinas said.
“You know that Miami is one of the centers of disinformation, especially among Latino voters,” she said. “The majority of residents in Miami-Dade are Latinos. And they don’t fight back. It seems almost as if they have given up on Florida. And now a lot of people just consider it not a swing state but a red state.
“And for the first time, possibly, the Latino vote will go Republican, because even though we talked a lot about that last election, in 2020, Joe Biden still won the Latino vote in Florida, just by a much smaller margin than the election for Hillary Clinton” in 2016.
To discover where the potential disinformation lies, one needs to go back two years, when Salinas made almost the exact same claim on CBS News — albeit with a bit more elucidation.
“We heard the president for almost four years talk about how Joe Biden and Democrats would enact socialist policies in this country,” she said of then-President Donald Trump. “To a lot of Americans, that kind of goes over their head, but remind us why that resonates so much in South Florida and why it could be affecting Biden’s chances tonight.”
“There was a lot of disinformation in radio stations in Miami and in Spanish-language media there and they really scared people into socialism and especially now Venezuelans,” Salinas added.
“Another reason, besides the anti-socialism message, is the violence. A lot of people fear the violence. So law and order is also a huge issue for them.”
However, it wasn’t just Salinas throwing the socialism-disinformation theory out there.
Remember (sigh) former White House press secretary Jen Psaki? She tweeted much the same thing.
“The Latino vote is not the same everywhere! There are huge generational differences and in Florida population of older voters (more likely Rs) much larger than younger,” Psaki said. “Socialism does not play there. And there is a massive disinformation problem in Spanish language media.”
The Latino vote is not the same everywhere! There are huge generational differences and in Florida population of older voters (more likely Rs) much larger than younger. Socialism does not play there. And there is a massive disinformation problem in Spanish language media.
— Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) November 9, 2022
This explanation doesn’t suffice, either. Latinos in South Florida, admittedly, might be more sensitive to socialism than Latinos elsewhere, what with a disproportionate number of refugees from the failed regimes in Cuba and Venezuela. That said, it was already a Democratic stronghold — particularly during the era when the Castro government and Hugo Chavez loomed much larger than both countries do now.
Furthermore, as ABC News pointed out, exit polls showed the Latino vote in Florida shifted “primarily among non-Cuban Hispanics. This group went from a lead of 30 points for the Democratic candidate in the last gubernatorial election, 64-34 Gillum to DeSantis, to a 5 point lead for DeSantis this year, 52-47%.”
Meanwhile, as MRC noted, NBC News’ exit polls showed only a slight increase in Cuban-American vote for DeSantis, from 67 percent in 2018 to 68 percent in 2022. The Puerto Rican vote, meanwhile, increased from 34 percent four years ago to 55 percent now, with other Latinos jumping from 34 percent to 50 percent.
“Disinformation” or “socialism” had nothing to do with this.
The Democrats have long counted on open borders and amnesty to win Latino voters over without questioning whether those were two issues that got out the vote in the community. And when DeSantis takes Miami-Dade County, it’s blamed on fake news, as if the only reason Hispanics didn’t vote for the “good guys” is they were duped.
All I’ll say is this: If a massive misinformation campaign is the prime motivating factor behind DeSantis’ destruction of Charlie Crist, the GOP probably should have considered deploying it in more swing states.
Somehow, however, I don’t think that’s quite it — and the left’s cluelessness about why they’re losing Latino voters provides plenty of insurance that they’ll keep repeating the same mistakes that led to the massive victories in Florida.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.