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EXCLUSIVE: Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida’s first ad booking in his 2022 re-election campaign will be directed at Spanish-speaking voters.
The popular first-term governor with a strong national conservative following announced Wednesday that he would spend $5.3 million to set aside ad time on Spanish-language broadcast, cable, radio and digital to run campaign ads .
The governor’s policy team, which first shared its ad with Fox News, said its statewide ad bookings focus on the Orlando and Miami media markets. And the campaign noted that the media booking reflects “DeSantis’ commitment to communicating his ‘Keeping Florida Free’ political platform to Spanish-speaking voters.”
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DeSantis, a former congressman who was narrowly elected governor of Florida in 2018, isn’t expected to face such a tough re-election fight. Florida was once the biggest general election battleground in the nation, but it has increasingly turned red in the past two cycles. And DeSantis has seen his political stature skyrocket dramatically over the past two years.
An average of recent public opinion polls indicated that DeSantis held a nine-point lead over former governor and current Democratic Representative Charlie Crist in a hypothetical general election showdown, with the governor up double digits from two. other leading Democratic gubernatorial candidates — Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and state Sen. Annette Taddeo, in potential matchups in November.
And DeSantis has a huge fundraising advantage over his potential Democratic challengers. The governor — thanks to his re-election campaign and the Friends of Ron DeSantis, his political committee — by the end of March had raised more than $100 million so far in the 2022 cycle.
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the The DeSantis campaign appears to be using its new ad booking to signal its strategy to further woo Florida’s large and growing pool of Spanish-speaking voters.
Republicans have made gains with Spanish-speaking voters in recent election cycles and are optimistic about making further gains this year. DeSantis won 44% of the Latino or Hispanic vote in his 2018 gubernatorial victory, according to a Fox News voter analysis, which also found DeSantis narrowly ahead of Democratic nominee Andrew Gillum by 50% at 48% among Latino men.
And a recent poll indicates DeSantis’ favor among Hispanic voters in Florida is up while President Biden’s numbers have fallen.
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“As Joe Biden and the Democratic Party continue to lose ground with the Hispanic community, Republicans are winning and growing,” the DeSantis campaign announced in an exclusive statement to Fox News.
“Spanish speakers in Florida and across the country are looking to Governor Ron DeSantis because of his focus on economic opportunity, education, public safety and other family-oriented policies,” the campaign argued. “This is our first campaign media investment, demonstrating the importance we place on sharing our freedom agenda with Florida’s Spanish-speaking voters.”
DeSantis has seen his popularity surge among Republican voters in his state and nation over the past two years, thanks in large part to his combative response to COVID-19 restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic as well as his aggressive actions in culture wars.
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While pundits see DeSantis as a likely 2024 GOP presidential candidate, the governor has repeatedly hijacked talk of a 2024 run, saying he’s focused on his re-election as governor and telling Fox News that the next race for the White House is “down the road.” not something I’m planning on.”
But the governor’s massive campaign war chest sends a signal to the rest of the potential 2024 Republican presidential field of DeSantis’ popularity, influence and strength if he launches a White House campaign. And he’s consistently second to former President Donald Trump — who repeatedly flirts with the idea of running other candidates for the White House — in early 2024 in GOP presidential nomination polls.
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