Democratic Stronghold Flips Republican as Florida Voters Paint Biden Territory Red

Back in the day, Florida was a swing state. Remember “hanging chads”? The only reason those ballots were so important was that the decisive state in the 2000 election, the Sunshine State, was decided by well under a thousand votes.

As much as the Democrats might have been sore about that at the time, it turns out those were halcyon days for the party in the third-most populous state in the nation. Donald Trump has carried the last two presidential elections there, the last Democratic senator to represent Florida lost re-election there in 2018, and the state’s House seats lean heavily red. The same is true for the governorship and state legislatures.

State Democratic Party chairwoman Nikki Fried — who was the only statewide-elected Democrat when she won the commissioner of agriculture seat back in 2018 — aimed to change that with a “Take Back Local” campaign.

The first test of the grassroots effort would be on Tuesday, when, according to Florida’s Voice, seven party-endorsed candidates, “all in areas where Democrats would be expected to win,” were on the ballot.

“These races are nonpartisan so it’s important for voters to know which candidates will fight for our values and it’s our job as a party to provide the infrastructure democratic candidates need to win — that’s how we will take back Florida. We are fielding candidates and contesting races everywhere and it starts at the local level,” Fried said in a statement last month.

Only four of those seven candidates managed to win, however — and not only that, but the Democrats lost a race they were so easily expected to win that one imagines Fried and Co. didn’t even bother making the party-affiliated candidates part of the “Take Back Local” campaign.

According to Florida’s Voice, Republican candidate Tom Carney won the mayoral race in Delray Beach, a Palm Beach County community roughly 50 miles north of Miami that went decisively for President Joe Biden in 2020.

Carney finished with 51 percent of the vote against two Democratic candidates, who finished with 38 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

The seat previously had been held by a Democrat in an area that was pretty deep blue; Florida’s Voice called it maybe “the most shocking flip of the night.”

So, yeah, things are going swimmingly for the Democrats right now.

“The [Democrats] and [Fried] made a big deal about their ‘take back local’ team which was just defending their own democratic seats,” Evan Power, chairman of the Florida GOP, said after the results came in. “Well, we defeated 42 percent of them.”

The politicians officially part of “Take Back Local” who got defeated were incumbent Clearwater City Councilman Mark Bunker; Javante Scott, who was running for a seat previously held by a Democratic candidate on the same council; and Karen Mcniel, who was running for Winter Garden commissioner in Orange County.

Now, is this indicative of a sweep in Florida come this fall’s elections? Not necessarily, as Politico pointed out. Yes, I know, consider the source, but it cited Republicans who said that Democrats’ decision not to hold a presidential primary in the state proved fatal and allowed them to sweep seats in what would normally be enemy territory.

“GOPers contended that Florida Democrats, including chair Nikki Fried, had committed ‘malpractice,’” the outlet reported.

“The Florida Democratic Party is like the best opposition party we could ever ask for,” Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a news briefing in Miami Beach on Wednesday.

“They canceled their presidential primary because they feared Biden may get embarrassed by not getting a high enough percentage — and what did that do?” DeSantis said. “That totally tanked their turnout, and that gave Republicans an ability to win like the Delray Beach mayor, which has, like, not exactly been Republican territory.”

Fried said a Democratic primary wouldn’t have changed the outcome, which doesn’t actually make this much better, considering the Democrats believe this massive letdown would have happened no matter what.

She might indeed be right, however; Biden has already all but clinched his party’s nomination, and the Sunshine State is an unlikely venue for any sort of protest vote against the incumbent.

Furthermore, recent polls have shown GOP candidate and former President Donald Trump with an 11-point advantage over Biden in a November rematch, according to the Miami Herald.

This would come just two years after DeSantis — who barely eked by Democrat Andrew Gillum in the 2018 gubernatorial contest — scored nearly 60 percent of the vote on the way to getting re-elected, turning deep-blue counties red, especially around Miami.

Democrats can’t take back Florida at a national or even statewide level. If Tuesday was any indication, they also can’t take it back at the local level, either, even on their own turf.

At least in the Sunshine State, 2024 is turning out to be — dare I say it? — a bloodbath for the left.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.


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