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Democrats Could Be Giving Up On Florida, ‘Got Our Butts Kicked’

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


It is not often that Democrats surrender on anything, but it has gotten so tough for them in the state of Florida that they appear to be done even trying.

The state of Gov. Ron DeSantis has Democrats “stumped” as Democrats admits they are getting their “butts kicked” in the Sunshine State, Politico reported.

“If you were to ask me, does Florida give you as good a return on investment as other places? Clearly right now it does not,” Democratic National Committee Finance Director Chris Korge said. “We got our butts kicked in Florida recently. Our butts kicked.”

He said that his job is to build an infrastructure in the state and national groups would not be wise to not attempt to find some type of inroads.

“I think the White House absolutely thinks we need to be engaged there now rather than waiting until 2024 when it becomes more expensive to stop [DeSantis],”he said to Politico. “We are going to be engaged in the midterm and, you can quote me on this, the DNC is absolutely not giving up on Florida.”

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The White House appears to have a strategy of attacking the governor himself and not his platform.

But Biden in recent weeks has taken a more confrontational approach with DeSantis. Biden and his administration recently hammered the governor for making his state the only one in the country to not pre-order pediatric Covid-19 vaccines. White House Covid response coordinator Ashish Jha even held a briefing with Florida reporters, where he called DeSantis’ move “unconscionable.”

Biden also issued an executive order banning programs that receive federal money from offering conversion therapy, a direct response to the DeSantis administration pushing to end state-funded gender-affirming care for transgender minors. DeSantis’ health department also crafted a rationale to justify banning Medicaid from paying for puberty blockers for transgender people.

Still Gov. DeSantis has stood strong in his convictions, including not recommending vaccines for young children.

“They [the establishment media] came out with an article saying the state of Florida has not ordered, its Department of Health has not ordered mRNA jabs for the babies. Yes, we recommend against it. We are not going to have any programs where we’re trying to jab six-month-old babies with mRNA. That’s just the reality,” the governor said.

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The White house maintains that it has not given up on Florida, but it looks like the idea is to continue to attack Gov. DeSantis directly.

“The administration has been very, very present in the state,” Building Back Together, a Biden-affiliated group, chief strategy officer Mayra Macias, said. “Be it the first lady in Palm Beach or Cabinet secretaries in other places, so I don’t think it’s a fair assessment to say the administration has written off Florida. You are seeing visibility at the highest levels.”

John Morgan, an Orlando attorney and major Democratic donor, said in a text message that there is one simple reason the White House will continue to focus on Florida: “More electoral votes,” he said. “It’s not off the radar.”

Morgan points to the large number of Democratic donors, including him, who reside in the state as another reason Democrats nationally can’t totally turn their back on the state. The DNC, for instance, just came knocking on his door, as it has in the past.

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“Still lots of money,” Morgan said. “I was just asked to do an event with POTUS at my house for the DNC.”

Democratic congressional candidate Jared Moskowitz, whose campaign on Tuesday was endorsed by Hillary Clinton, said the state can help fuel important Democratic wins across the country, even if the party struggles within its borders.

“Even if you can’t win Florida, there is a lot of money to raise here that can be used in critical races across the country,” the attorney said. “Republicans have out-registered Democrats here, so statistically you can make the observation that it’s moving to the right, but let’s not pretend Barack Obama winning the state is ancient history. It’s the third-largest state in the country, and there are a lot of active Democrats here.”

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