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DeSantis Challenger Charlie Crist Loses Campaign Manager Just Weeks From Election

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appears to be cruising to reelection, which may have contributed to a new development in his Democratic opponent’s campaign.

Reports noted on Thursday that Rep. Charlie Crist’s campaign manager, Austin Durrer, has stepped away with less than three weeks before the crucial midterm elections. He has been replaced by Sydney Throop, “who previously ran Crist’s congressional campaigns and guides daily operations for his gubernatorial campaign,” Breitbart News reported.

Durrer left the closely-watched campaign “to focus on a family matter,” according to Crist spokeswoman Samantha Ramirez.

“Durrer’s departure comes amid falling poll numbers for Crist. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), who has maintained a polling advantage over Crist, has extended his lead to double-digits, according to a recent Sachs Media Group poll,” Breitbart News added.

DeSantis has maintained a widening lead over Crist, very likely due in large part to the Republican Party’s successful bid to out-register Democrats in the state for the first time in its history, beginning last year.

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According to state records, out of around 1 million new registered voters in the Sunshine State between October 2018 and July 2022, less than 18,000 of them identified as Democrats.

Meanwhile, more than a half-million new registrants during the same period have identified as Republicans, giving the GOP a substantial lead.

“The 2022 numbers show the state with 5,191,018 Republicans,” The Western Journal reported. “That means from the 2018 election until this summer, the Florida GOP added 509,420 people. That is an increase of roughly 10 percent.”

Conversely, during the same period, “Democratic Party enrollment rose from 4,962,064 to 4,944,867 — which is an increase of only 17,197 people,” the outlet added.

According to a survey published earlier this month, DeSantis is leading his Democratic challenger — a former one-term GOP governor of the Sunshine State — by double digits despite being viciously assailed by Democrats and left-leaning media outlets for months.

The Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy poll found that 52 percent of likely voters said they plan to cast a ballot for the GOP governor versus 41 percent who said they planned to vote for Crist. That’s an 11-point deficit.

The Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy poll found that 52 percent of likely voters said they plan to cast a ballot for the GOP governor versus 41 percent who said they planned to vote for Crist. That’s an 11-point deficit.

What’s more, according to the survey, DeSantis is leading Crist in almost every area of the state with the exception of the southeastern portion that has traditionally remained blue. Crist served as a GOP governor of the Sunshine State for a single term, from 2007-2011.

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Christian Ziegler, vice chairman of the Florida GOP, said regarding the large increase in registered Republicans: “The biggest number in Florida Politics that no one is talking about: 17,197. While Florida has added 1,037,685 net new voters since [Ron DeSantis’] 2018 Victory, the Democrat Party only managed to convince 17,197 of them to register as a Democrat.”

“Governor DeSantis is delivering on the important issues, our Florida GOP County leaders are executing on the ground, and voters in every corner of our state are resonating with our record while showcasing a historic rejection of the Democrat Party,” he added, according to Florida’s Voice.

“And while the data is great, we cannot afford to let up at this point,” he said, adding, “The Florida GOP is committed to the fight and we will not take our foot off of the gas until Governor DeSantis achieves victory, freedom in Florida is protected for generations to come and the Democrat Party is extinct in our state.”

DeSantis also is apparently enjoying praise over his handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, which blew through the state late last month.

“I don’t think it was a problem, and, if it was, the hurricane just wiped it out,” Brad Coker, a pollster for Mason-Dixon, said, according to NBC News. “DeSantis is going to be Governor Hurricane for the next couple weeks. The disadvantage Crist has is twofold: He’s completely out of the news, and he never managed a hurricane, so he can’t stand up and point to what he did. So Crist is totally, totally defanged.”

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