Crist, DeSantis tell voters to show up to polls ahead of approaching storm

Florida's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, left, speaks during a debate with his Democratic opponent Charlie Crist in Fort Pierce, Fla., Monday, Oct. 24, 2022. (Crystal Vander Weit/ via AP, Pool) (Crystal Vander Weit, USATODAY NETWORK)

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday urged voters to show up to the polls on Election Day as a strong storm bears down on the state. DeSantis is facing a challenge from former governor and current Democrat Charlie Crist.

“We’re monitoring a weather system off the coast. Maybe some wind will come eventually, after the election, and we’ll keep you posted on that. Tomorrow should be fine. No problem,” DeSantis told a crowd of supporters in Palm Beach County. “But I just want you to know you wait ‘til Election Day, if you have a flat tire, no excuse. You gotta make sure you get there. Something comes up, make sure you do it. You got all day, so, I want 100% turnout from this crowd.”

Crist was in Tampa on Tuesday night to round off his campaign tour. He’s was in South and Central Florida as he tries to rally voters.

As of Friday, nearly 4 million people had already voted in Florida’s election and early numbers indicate Republicans could have a huge advantage once voting ends Tuesday.

Through Thursday, 1.7 million Republicans have already cast ballots for the races that will determine whether DeSantis will be reelected. That compares to 1.4 million cast by Democrats.

The Florida GOP could also increase its representation in the U.S. House, thanks partly to a new congressional map that was drawn to favor Republican candidates.

“At this point in time, it comes down to something simple and that is turnout. Governor DeSantis wants to turn out his votes. He’s raised a lot of money, he’s been on the air, he’s been running his campaign, but he needs to turn out his voters. Particularly true on the Republican side, because they vote disproportionately on Election Day. So, it comes down to turnout,” News4JAX political analyst Rick Mullaney said.

Crist met with community leaders and local residents encouraging them to head out to the polls Tuesday.

“Let’s have a true free Florida for women, people of color, people who can vote. If that’s what you want, Charlie Crist has your back,” Crist said.

Crist took aim at DeSantis saying he only looks out for himself and Crist believes DeSantis will continue to tear the state apart.

DeSantis told supporters freedom is under attack.

“Look, we’re fortunate to be Floridians at this point in time,” DeSantis said. “If you think about what’s happened over the last few years, a lot of challenges for people in this state, the United States, and really, freedom was challenged like never before.”

About the Authors:

A Florida girl and North Carolina A&T SU grad who thrives in breaking news.

Specializes in Clay County issues, general assignment reporting and stories off the beaten path and anchors weekend evening newscasts.