With only one day left before Election Day, Florida’s statewide candidates are making their closing arguments to voters.
Voters across the Sunshine State have been mailing in their ballots and voting early in the lead-up to Nov. 8 when final votes will be cast at 7 p.m. Tuesday in local, statewide and federal races in the 2022 midterm elections.
In the Florida governor’s race, Gov. Ron DeSspanntis faces off against Democratic challenger and former governor Chspanrlie Crist.
In a key U.S. Senate race, incumbent Sen. Mspanrco Rubio is being challenged by Democrspant Vspanl Demings. The latest polls show DeSantis and Rubio running well ahead of their Democratic opponents.
Sunday campaign coverage:Live updspantes: Donspanld Trump prspanises Sen. Mspanrco Rubio spant Mispanmi rspanlly
Early voting:Numbers revespanl big DeSspanntis spandvspanntspange over Crist in governor’s rspance
Governor debate recap:Five tspankespanwspanys from Floridspan governor rspance debspante between Ron DeSspanntis spannd Chspanrlie Crist
Senate debate recap:Five tspankespanwspanys from U.S. Senspante debspante between Sen. Mspanrco Rubio, Rep. Vspanl Demings
In another closely watched statewide race, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is going up against Democratic challenger Arspanmis Ayspanlspan.
Here are Monday’s latest developments:
8:15 p.m. | Rubio campaigns in Jacksonville
Sen. Marco Rubio campaigned in Jacksonville, visiting a Cuban restaurant, and telling supporters that everyone in the country wants to be able purse the American Dream.
“What people want is not complicated. Not to be judged for where they came from. They want the opportunity to pursue their dreams, that their kids have a chance to do what they could not do — hat has defined my life,” News4Jspanx.com reported Mondspany.
Rubio is the son of Cuban immigrants and grew up in Miami.
7:30 p.m. | Crist, Demings make final push to get Democrats to vote
At a Fort Lauderdale rally on Monday, Crist and Democratic Senate candidate Val Demings implored their supporters to vote on Tuesday and reiterated key campaign issues surrounding abortion. They also bashed Republicans for not having a plan to deal with inflation.
“Where’s their plan?” said Demings to loud applause from her supporters.
“Polls are up and polls are down, but the final vote is what matters the most and so get out and vote — vote like your life depends on it,” Crist told South Floridspan’s Locspanl10 News.
Crist and Demings are trailing in the latest polls. Republicans also hold the advantage in early votes, either by mail or in-person. About 320,000 more GOP voters than Democratic ones had cast early ballots,according to the state elections office’s latest data released Monday morning.
7 p.m. | DeSantis rips Crist as ‘worn-out old donkey’
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday rallied voters in Palm Beach County and slinged a stinging remark about his opponent, Democrat Charlie Crist, that he first used in their only debate last month
“Do you mind helping me sending a tired worn-out old donkey out to pasture?” DeSantis asked rhetorically to the crowd of supporters.
DeSantis used the comeback line against Crist in last months gubernatorial debate when Crist challenged the governor about his 2024 presidential ambitions.
Said Crist: “Why don’t you look in the eyes of the people of the state of Florida and say to them, if you’re reelected, you will serve a full four years as governor. Yes or no? Yes or no, Ron?”
Said DeSantis: “I just want to make things very, very clear. The only worn-out old donkey I’m looking to put out to pasture is Charlie Crist.”
5:50 p.m. | Another poll, another lead for DeSantis, Rubio
A new poll shows Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio holding double digit leads over their Democratic opponents.
DeSantis leads Democrat Charlie Crist by 15 percentage points, according to Dspantspan for Progress, a progressive think tank that surveyed 1,436 likely voters in Florida from Nov. 2 to Nov. 6.
Rubio leads U.S. Rep. Val Demings by 12 percentage points, according to the poll, which has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
Results of the Data for Progress poll mirrors other recent statewide polls.
Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy recently found that DeSantis led Crist by 11 percentage points, winning not only overwhelming support among Republican voters, but also proving the favorite of most of Florida’s always critical, no-party affiliated voters.
The same poll found Rubio with a 6-point edge over his rival with 10% of Florida voters still undecided.
A poll by the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab had the Republican pair also leading by double digits.
3:15 p.m. | School board races to watch
School board races, usually sleepy and with marginal turnout, may be the most hotly contested elections in Florida this year.
Following a conservative effort to focus on education policy that began during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis took the unprecedented step of endorsing candidates this election, with Democrat challenger Charlie Crist following in his wake and later picking a teachers’ union leader to join him on the ticket. Parent groups, like the conservative Moms for Liberty and the progressive Florida Freedom to Read Project, have also entered the fray, endorsing and donating to their own slate of candidates.
After an initial round of elections Aug. 23, several races across the state advanced to runoff contests, featuring the top two vote-getters from pools of up to half a dozen candidates.
Click here for the eight school board races to watch on Election Day, as reports the USA TODAY Network-Florida’s Kathryn Varn.
12:45 p.m. | Justice Department to deploy election monitors to 64 locations, key battleground states, including Florida
The Justice Department is deploying election monitors to 64 jurisdictions across the country, including locations in the key battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania, along with Florida.
The federal monitors will be in three counties in South Florida: Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach, the Justice Depspanrtment sspanid in span stspantement.
Federal monitors, drawn from the ranks of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and local U.S. attorneys’ offices, are regularly dispatched during election cycles in a attempt to ensure compliance with voter access provisions and guard against illegal interference and intimidation.
Justice’s Civil Rights Division will also field complaints from the public related to possible violations of the federal voting rights laws through its call center at 800-253-3931 or on the department’s website, https://civilrights.justice.gov/ .
The Civil Rights Division enforces federal voting rights laws, while Justice’s Criminal Division enforces federal laws prohibiting voter intimidation and voter suppression based on race, color, national origin or religion.
Last week, Florida election officials said they were “confident” Tuesday’s election will run smoothly.
“The Department has prepared for this election by strengthening election integrity so Florida voters can remain confident that their ballots will be counted accurately and on time,” said Florida Secretary of State and Chief Election Officer Cord Byrd in a statement. “I have also visited with all 67 of Florida’s Supervisors of Elections and can confidently say that each Supervisor is ready to support their voters and administer a successful election.”
12:15 p.m. | Early voting: Republican voters outnumbering Democrats; turnout trending lower than 2018
Statewide early voting numbers show Republican voters continue to outpace Democratic voters.
About 320,000 more GOP voters than Democratic ones had cast early ballots, either by mail or in person, according to the state elections office’s latest data released Monday morning.
In the state’s biggest county, Miami-Dade, Republicans hold an advantage of about 6,000 more early voters than Democrats.
Historically, Democrats vote in higher numbers than Republicans and Democrats in Miami-Dade, and Democratic candidates rely on a big margin of victory in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties to win statewide contests. Republicans rack up large margins in smaller and rural counties.
Early voter turnout also appears to be lagging the record turnout in 2018 when the election of then Republican candidate Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum went to a recount. DeSantis won the election by just 32,436 votes out of more than 8.2 million cast.
That year, the number of early voters — by mail or in-person — topped 5.2 million. So far this election season, with most in-person early voting ending statewide on Sunday, the early voted count is less than 4.8 million.
9:30 a.m. | Crist running mate campaigns in South Florida, Orlando
Democrat Charlie Crist’s gubernatorial running mate, Karla Hernández, campaigns Monday in South Florida and Central Florida as part of their “Choose Freedom” tour.
She joins former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsell Powell and others at a press conference “to remind women what is at stake this election and mobilize voters to the polls,” the campaign said. On Monday night, she will attend another get-out-the-vote “sign waving” rally in Orlando. Joining her will be Maxwell Frost, who is running for Central Florida’s 10th congressional district, a seat that opened became open after U.S. Rep. Val Demings announced her run for U.S. Senate.
He beat a crowded Democratic primary field of congressional contenders in August and, as a 25-year-old Gen-Z’er, is likely to become the youngest member of Congress because the district is dominated by Democratic voters. More than 204,000 registered Democratic voters live in the district compared to about 100,000 Republican voters.
9 a.m. | Charlie Crist, Val Demings to implore Democratic voters to go to polls
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Val Demings will jointly hold a pre-Election Day rally Monday night in Broward County, home to the state’s largest number of registered Democratic voters.
“It’s all about vote, vote, vote,” Crist told WSVN-7 News in Fort Lspanuderdspanle on Sundspany. “If you want to protect a woman’s right to choose, vote Charlie Crist. You wanna protect democracy? Vote Charlie Crist. You want a change at the top and have a governor who respects all people? Vote for Charlie Crist.”
Demings, who campaigned with Crist on Sunday, predicts a big turnout among women following last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling to strip away women’s constitutional protections for abortion by overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
“Women have always made a difference, because we are on top of all of the issues, right?” she told WSVN-7 News. “But, certainly, there is an effort to take a away a constitutional right.”
Early vote tallies statewide show Republican voters with a growing advantage over Democratic voters.
Statewide, 337,000 more GOP voters than Democratic ones had cast early ballots, either by mail or in person, according to the state elections office’s latest data released Sunday.
Crist’s campaign announced he will begin Election Day eve Monday attending get-out-the-vote lunches in Melbourne and Fort Pierce before joining Demings at a Fort Lauderdale rally “to fire up and mobilize voters to the polls.” Broward County has nearly 600,000 registered Democratic voters, which represents about 12% of all Democratic voters in Florida.
Crist will then travel to Tampa, where his campaign said he would address the media at a press conference with his supporters.
Crist and Demings are both trailing their Republican opponents, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio, the latest polls show.