Andrew Gillum, Martha McSally: 5 Takeaways From Florida And Arizona Primaries Andrew Gillum's upset victory in the Florida Democratic gubernatorial primary pits a young, black Democratic progressive against a Republican who has staked his career on his ties to Trump.
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5 Takeaways From A Surprise Win In Florida And A Nasty Race In Arizona

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5 Takeaways From A Surprise Win In Florida And A Nasty Race In Arizona

5 Takeaways From A Surprise Win In Florida And A Nasty Race In Arizona

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

All right, joining us now with some key takeaways from yesterday's election in Florida is NPR lead political editor Domenico Montanaro.

Hey, Domenico.

DOMENICO MONTANARO, BYLINE: Hey, Ailsa.

CHANG: So it looks like Florida's gubernatorial race is now the one to watch. Explain this showdown to us.

MONTANARO: This is the resistance versus Trump. This is Sanders versus Trump. This is the race that never happened in 2016...

CHANG: But is now happening in 2018.

MONTANARO: ...And is now happening in 2018. Both bases want to go after each other. Now they're going to get it. It's getting kind of ugly. And actually, let's take a listen to Ron DeSantis, who was on Fox News this morning.

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RON DESANTIS: Let's build off the success we've had on Governor Scott. The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda.

CHANG: Wow. Of course, that is a racially charged term. How did DeSantis explain his way out of that?

MONTANARO: Well, his campaign put out a statement later in the day clarifying, saying that DeSantis was trying to say that the state has seen a pretty good economy and that it shouldn't change direction. But any kind of comment like that obviously is going to be magnified...

CHANG: Yeah.

MONTANARO: ...Especially with the kinds of activists we have on both sides. And this is just Day 1 of this race.

CHANG: And what about voter turnout last night? What did you notice?

MONTANARO: Well, that's what's fascinating. You know, a lot of the energy that we've seen so far had been on Gillum's side. It's one of the reasons why he wound up doing so well in the late days of the campaign. But Republicans, we should point out, had higher overall turnout in this race. A hundred-thousand more Republicans turned out to vote. Now, when you talk to Democrats, they'll say, hey, that's not a fair comparison because this is actually higher turnout than we've had in a lot of other years previously - and in some pretty key areas, like Miami-Dade County, which had higher overall turnout than in the 2016 primary, for example.

CHANG: And could the excitement around Gillum actually drive turnout even better for Democrats in November?

MONTANARO: And that's what a lot of people are wondering, especially since Gillum is not that well-known. He's going to make his way all across the state. And certainly, there are going to be a lot of, you know, fights on both sides. We're hearing already from Republicans who are saying that they're just basically going to back up the opposition research dump truck on Gillum and see what sticks.

CHANG: That's NPR's Domenico Montanaro.

Thank you very much.

MONTANARO: You're welcome.

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