Shock Poll as Charlie Crist Leads Ron DeSantis After Migrant Flight: Latest Odds

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:

BetOnline still has Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis a -1500 favorite to be re-elected this November, but there could be some value in betting on his opponent, Democrat Charlie Crist.

Crist was promising a $60 payout on every $10 bet.

The former Florida Governor, a one-time Republican, found himself ahead of DeSantis in a recent poll.

The Listener Group conducted the poll that showed a near 16-point shift and DeSantis trailing by 6 points.  This comes after the Florida Government led a potential Democratic candidate by double digits back in June.  The Democratic primary had not yet been held at that time. 

The FiveThirtyEight aggregate polls continued to show DeSantis leading Crist by six points up until just recently.

But then came that choice to fly a few dozen Venezuelan immigrants from Texas to Martha's Vineyard, and DeSantis taking full credit.  The move might have backfired.

It should be noted that DeSantis was actually a -3000 favorite at the time news of the migrant flight to the Massachusetts island, an enclave for the rich and liberal.  The immigrants claimed they were sent there under false pretenses.

South Florida's Latin American population is a key voting block that shifted in favor of the former U.S. President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

Florida state Sen. Annette Taddeo, who’s challenging Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.) for her Miami-area House seat in November, seized on the opportunity to criticize DeSantis' move.

“It’s something that the extreme Trumpian base loves,” Taddeo told The Hill in a brief interview on Thursday. “You can’t be talking about anti-communism and be talking about freedom in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and all these other countries if you’re going to do this: mistreat people when they come here fleeing oppressive regimes.”

Many within Florida's vibrant Venezuelan community condemned DeSantis for what they viewed as a political stunt and compared it to what the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro might have done.  

He sort of did just that a la the Mariel boatlift. It was a mass emigration of Cubans who traveled from that island nation's Mariel Harbor to the United States between 15 April and 31 October of 1980.  Prisoners and mental health patients were thrown in for good measure.

Cubans, in particular, are a key constituency of the GOP.  There are believed to be around 1.5 million Cubans living in Florida compared to around 100,000 Venezuelans.

The Listener Group poll may be an outlier, but Greg Fink—a conservative-leaning strategic consultant for The Listener Group— tells Newsweek the results match a decline in DeSantis' support that actually began with his targeting of school boards, everything from the banning of books to prohibiting masks in schools during the Covid-19 pandemic.

DeSantis has a war chest of campaign money compared to Crist.  He and his affiliated committees, along with the state GOP, have spent nearly $30 million in state ads for the governor's race.  Crist and the Democrats have spent a mere $7.1 million by comparison.

That’s more than a 4-to-1 advantage for DeSantis, per AdImpact. 

DeSantis is also a current co-favorite along with Trump to win the GOP nomination for the 2024 Presidential race.

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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