Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has won re-election, defeating pro-abortion Democratic candidate Charlie Crist. The pro-life governor, a potential 2024 GOP presidential contender, notched a quick election night win hat could become a springboard for a future White House run.

“A big win in Florida is a huge proof point for DeSantis, a strong point for showcasing governing strength and electoral strength,” said David Kochel, a veteran Republican campaign adviser who hails from first-in-the-nation-caucus Iowa. “The fact DeSantis won by a hair in 2018 and now he’s blowing away Democrats sends a message.”

During the election, DeSantis spoke about the value of unborn babies while debating his Democrat opponent Monday, saying “everybody counts.”

When asked about abortion, the Republican governor recalled the story of a poor Jamaican woman who nearly went through with an abortion 40 years ago. DeSantis said the woman was urged to have an abortion and even went to her appointment, but she chose life for her unborn daughter instead, according to an RNC Research video from the debate.

“I think about that because a few months ago I appointed her daughter to be the first Jamaican-American justice in the history of the Florida Supreme Court,” DeSantis said. “I just think we’re better when everybody counts. I understand not everyone is going to be born in perfect circumstances, but I would like to see everybody have a shot.”

The governor said he is proud of the pro-life law that he signed in April to ban abortions after 15 weeks. Pro-life leaders estimate the law will save thousands of babies’ lives every year.

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DeSantis contrasted his pro-life position with the abortion extremism of his opponent, saying Crist, a former congressman, supports taxpayer-funded abortions up to birth.

“Charlie Crist opposes [a 15-week ban] even though the baby is fully formed, has a heartbeat, can feel pain and can suck their thumb,” DeSantis said. “He also supports sex-selective abortion, which is used to discriminate against little girls. He supports dismemberment abortions where they literally will tear the baby limb from limb, and he supports taxpayer funding of abortions all the way up to birth. And that is wrong.”

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Crist defended his support of abortion, saying women should have the “right to choose.”

“I want to make sure we keep a woman’s right to choose available to the women of the state of Florida,” Crist said. “And I want to make sure that we don’t have a governor in the future who wouldn’t even allow exceptions for rape or incest.”

The Times noted how Crist also brought up abortion repeatedly when asked about the economy, teacher pay, transgenderism and children, and during his closing statement. Crist has a 100-percent pro-abortion voting record in 2021-2022 from the National Right to Life Committee.

Polls consistently show Americans support strong limits on abortions and oppose taxpayer-funded elective abortions.

A 2022 Marist poll found that just 36 percent of Americans believe abortions should be legal without any restrictions, the Democratic Party position. Additionally, 73 percent oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions.

Similarly, a 2021 Associated Press poll found that 65 percent believe second-trimester abortions should be illegal and 80 percent believe they should be illegal in the third trimester.

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