Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Heavy Betting Favorite Against Democratic Challenger Crist

Posted on: August 24, 2022, 11:40h. 

Last updated on: August 24, 2022, 02:11h.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) will face former Democratic governor and current US House Rep. Charlie Crist in the state’s 2021 gubernatorial election on Nov. 8, 2022.

Florida odds DeSantis 2024 Charlie Crist
Florida US Rep. Charlie Crist (L) will challenge Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in November for the state’s top government job. DeSantis is the early betting favorite. (Image: The Wall Street Journal)

Early bettors placing money on the Florida gubernatorial outcome expect DeSantis to win easily. PredictIt’s market asking who will win to lead the Sunshine State for the next four years gives the incumbent a roughly 91% chance of victory.

Crist, a one-term Florida governor who served from 2007 until 2011 before unsuccessfully challenging US Sen. Marco Rubio (R), switched parties amid his governorship. After winning as a Republican, Crist became an independent in 2010. He changed affiliations again in 2012 to become a Democrat.

Crist hopes to turn the Florida governor’s office blue for the first time since the late 1990s. Crist said Tuesday night after securing the Democratic Party’s nomination that Floridians are ready for a change.

“Tonight, the people of Florida clearly sent a message. They want a governor who cares about them and solves real problems, preserves our freedom, not a bully who divides us and takes our freedom away,” Crist declared.

DeSantis said Crist represents the political ideals of President Joe Biden’s administration.

“We will never ever surrender to the woke agenda. Florida is a state where woke goes to die,” the governor declared.

DeSantis Aspirations

PredictIt bettors and overseas oddsmakers where betting on politics is permitted think DeSantis is a near lock for a second term. UK sports betting giant William Hill puts DeSantis at -900 — implied odds of 90% — to receive more votes than Crist.

But even if he wins a second four-year term, the odds of DeSantis serving Florida through 2026 aren’t exactly strong. It’s no secret that the Republican is mulling a 2024 White House run.

This guy wants to be president of the United States of America and everybody knows it. However, when we defeat him on November 8, that show is over,” Crist told his supporters.

The PredictIt money is on DeSantis to become the GOP’s presidential nominee. Bettors give him a 37% chance of taking on either Biden or a fresh Democratic face.

UK books have DeSantis and former President Donald Trump tied as the 2024 front-runners at around 3/1. Biden is longer at 6/1, and VP Kamala Harris is next at 12/1.

Democrats Take Safe Bet

Though DeSantis will be tough to beat come November, Florida Democrats went with Crist, who they see as a moderate. They are betting he might be able to win over some Republicans who believe the governor is too much like Trump.

Crist won Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial ticket over Nikki Fried, the state agricultural commissioner who ran on a more progressive agenda. She was outspoken in her support of defending abortion and LGBTQ+ rights.

Crist might be more moderate than Fried, but he faces a steep challenge. Florida’s political demographics have changed greatly over the past decade. Florida now has more registered Republican voters — 5.2 million more — than registered Democrats.

Once seen as a perennial swing state, Florida has become redder in recent years. The state voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020.