Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday predicted President Donald Trump will win the crucial state and said election results should be known well before midnight.
DeSantis, a Republican, noted that early voting numbers favored Democrats but said Republicans were expected to make up the deficit in in-person voting on Election Day.
“What we’re looking at going into Election Day is Democrats have a little bit more than a 100,000 ballot advantage,” DeSantis said on a podcast.
“I think that puts Trump in a good position, because we have a couple hundred thousand more super voters who haven’t voted and we know will vote on Election Day. So I think the turnout on Election Day is going to decisively favor the president. My sense is that the Democrats probably didn’t stockpile the number of votes that they needed to in this early voting period, and I think their Election Day turnout is gonna lag, partially because of the COVID fears, and I think that the Election Day turnout for Republicans will surge.”
Because of concerns about COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, a large number of Democrats, as well as some Republicans, turned to mail-in voting to avoid coming into contact with others at polling stations.
DeSantis recounted joining Trump for a lively rally in Miami late Monday and said he foresees Trump making up votes in the Democrat enclave after losing Miami-Dade County by 30 points in the last election.
“He’s got people energized down there like he didn’t have in 2016, so I think he has the advantage going in on Election Day into Florida. And if the folks who normally vote, vote, then I think he’s going to end up winning Florida, probably in the same ballpark that he did last time, maybe a little more,” DeSantis, a former U.S. representative in his first term, said.
Trump took Florida in 2016, beating Democrat Hillary Clinton by over 112,000 votes.
Unlike other states such as Pennsylvania, Florida requires mailed ballots to arrive by 7 p.m. on Election Day, according to the governor.
That will likely lead to authorities being able to declare an unofficial winner before the clock strikes midnight.
“I think you’ll get numbers, and we’ll have a good sense of this, I would say by 9 o’clock we should know one way or another,” DeSantis said.
Laurel Lee, Florida’s top elections official, told reporters at a briefing Tuesday that over 9 million voters had cast their ballots in early voting or mail-in voting. That equaled over 62 percent of registered voters in the state.
All precincts opened on time and polling stations are remaining open until 7 p.m.
Florida, one of the largest states in the nation, gives the winner 29 electoral votes.
DeSantis said some media outlets may be loath to call Florida for Trump but painted two scenarios that may unfold.
In one, Trump is winning even with 100 percent of the votes in from Palm Beach and Broward counties. In that scenario, authorities would feel comfortable calling the state for Trump, since Democrats would be unlikely to make up the votes elsewhere.
On the other hand, if Biden is ahead and all the votes from those two counties aren’t in, it’s likely Biden will win Florida, according to the governor.
Florida will have all the votes from early voting and mail tabulated by 7 p.m. on Tuesday night and will be able to count in-person votes as they come in, he said, enabling the election night determination.
A third scenario could play out. If the margin is within 10,000 or so votes, then authorities will be more wary, DeSantis said.
The governor spoke before Biden campaign officials said they see a pathway to victory even without Pennsylvania and Florida.
Trump told reporters in Virginia, meanwhile, that things are looking good for him in Florida, among other states.