DeSantis Leads with Hispanic Voters After Martha’s Vineyard Migrant Flight

Recent polls show Gov. Ron DeSantis leading in the Florida governor’s race, with some surveys even showing the potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate leading with Hispanic voters.


Recent polls show Gov. Ron DeSantis leading in the Florida governor’s race, with some surveys even showing the potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate leading with Hispanic voters, contrary to media predictions that the Martha’s Vineyard migrant flights would hurt the Florida Republican with Latinos.

  • The poll of likely voters from Spectrum News/Siena College showed Gov. Ron DeSantis leading former Congressman Charlie Crist 49% to 41% and leading among Latino voters by a wide 53% to 37% margin.
  • The Spectrum-News/Siena College results are similar to other recent polls. A Mason-Dixon poll showed DeSantis with a wide 52%-41% lead over Crist, but trailing by 8 points among Hispanics.
  • An AARP Florida poll similarly found good results for the incumbent. DeSantis led Crist by 50%-48% among Hispanic voters over 50, mirroring his 50%-47% overall margin.
  • The polls’ results cut against a common belief in media and Democratic circles that the migrant transport the Florida Republican sent to Martha’s Vineyard would hurt DeSantis with Latino voters.
  • Additionally, the Spectrum News/Siena College poll showed 50 percent of Florida independents support sending migrants to other states with 44 percent opposed. Latino support for the transports in that poll was underwater – 42% support, 51% disapprove.
  • The Florida Republican has consistently maintained a polling lead over his Democratic rival. DeSantis leads Crist by 6.3 points according to the RealClearPolitics polling average.
  • Republican gains with Latino voters aren’t limited to the Sunshine State. Two elections handicappers moved the race for Texas’ 34th Congressional District, an overwhelmingly Hispanic seat, from “Lean Democrat” to “Tossup.”
  • District-hopping Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D) and Rep. Mayra Flores (R), who won a closely watched special election earlier this year, are locked in a competitive battle for this Rio Grande Valley seat.
  • Gonzalez should be the favorite in this reliably Democratic region, but Flores’ strong campaign is giving Republicans hope they can appeal to Latinos nationwide.

reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times noted that although President Joe Biden sharply disagreed with DeSantis’ migrant transport – he called it “reckless” and “un-American” – the two potential 2024 rivals avoided their policy disputes while visiting the devastated town of Fort Myers Beach, Florida.
  • POLITICO covered DeSantis’ meeting with President Joe Biden on Wednesday. DeSantis and Biden put aside their mutual criticism and toured the devastation left by Hurricane Ian.
  • NBC News interviewed Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker. Coker said DeSantis’ strong result showed “voters weren’t too bothered by the negative coverage” of the Martha’s Vineyard migrant transport – or if they were, then “the hurricane just wiped it out.”



  • National Review noted Republicans have been steadily improving among Florida Latinos in recent years. Support for the G.O.P. in majority-Hispanic Miami-Dade County surged by 22 points from 2016 to 2020, and Miami’s Republican mayor won reelection with 78 percent in 2021.
  • Breitbart highlighted DeSantis’ support among Hispanic voters and shifts in voter registration in Florida. Florida has added 1,037,685 new Republican voters since 2018, while the Democrats only gained 17,197 voters in that time.
  • The Wall Street Journal detailed Joe Biden and Ron DeSantis’ “contentious history” and the recent history of G.O.P. governors getting in trouble with the party base for acting too chummy with a Democratic president.


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© Dominic Moore, 2022