Vote Latino President María Teresa Kumar argued Saturday that gerrymandering was a factor in Governor Ron DeSantis’ re-election, despite his running for statewide office.
Kumar appeared as a guest host on MSNBC’s “Velshi,” where a panel discussed former President Trump’s effect on the Republican Party. The discussion quickly focused on DeSantis as a sort of successor to ‘Trumpism’ for his rise in popularity.
However, Kumar claimed that his success, even in the state of Florida, was not because of DeSantis’ record as governor, but because he “mandured” the state.
“Is Ron DeSantis Trump 2.0? And a lot of people ask that question, but one of the things that’s been underestimated is the fact that Ron DeSantis, yes, he won, but he strongly gerrymander the state of Florida and often people say, ‘well, it was, you know, it was a statewide office.’ But gerrymandering has the effect of chilling potential voters for the opposite side to come out and vote. There’s no way he could gerrymander himself in 50 states. What would be his path? Kumar asked.
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“Well, he can’t gerrymander political charisma or retail politics either,” Lincoln Project senior adviser Tara Setmayer joked.
“You said it!” Kumar replied
Gerrymandering is the process of drawing constituencies in a way that benefits a political party. Although both political parties have redrawn congressional districts to affect House elections, some races, including gubernatorial elections, are voted in statewide elections, which are not not affected by district lines.
“Yeah, gerrymandering was an issue. It was an issue in New York for Democrats as well. I think that’s something that’s part of our electoral reforms that we need to look at moving forward, to help to open up the system which seems like a danger to the system, which encourages more extreme candidates in some places. That’s a whole different set of issues, talking about gerrymandering and primary reform. But that’s something that should be on the table,” Setmayer said.
She argued that DeSantis wouldn’t stand a chance in an election outside of Florida.
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“Well obviously they didn’t see Ron DeSantis outside of Florida. He was a congressman that no one really knew about until Donald Trump backed him up. You see Ron DeSantis started shaping up to the image and likeness of Trump, even in the manner, mannerisms and everything. It’s so transparent. When he gets on the ground in New Hampshire and Iowa, people are going to see that this guy doesn’t have it. Donald Trump’s gravity-defying political tactics don’t apply to So this is going to be a rude awakening for people who think Ron DeSantis is the Republican savior,” Setmayer said.
Shortly after DeSantis’ re-election, editors of Florida’s Sun-Sentinel newspaper also accused the governor of “racial gerrymandering” to secure his run.
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DeSantis easily beat his Democratic opponent Charlie Crist by nearly 20 points and 1.5 million votes. It marked a huge improvement from DeSantis’ 2018 victory over Andrew Gillum, where the Republican won by just 33,000 votes.
Also, DeSantis made history as the first Republican to win the heavily Hispanic county of Miami-Dade in 20 years. The last Republican governor to win the county was Jeb Bush in 2002.