OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Democrats just got more bad news as they head into the 2022 midterms and 2024 presidential elections.
The Republican Party has taken the edge and made Florida a strong red state, which could have devastating consequences for Democrats.
“With Texas the only state locked in for the GOP holding more than 20 votes, they have consistently needed to land well over half of the votes available in battleground states just to eke out narrow victories in the three races they have won in the 21st century – George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, and Donald Trump in 2016,” Liberty Nation reported.
“That is why the latest news from Florida resounds with significance well beyond the boundaries of the Sunshine State. The Florida Board of Elections has revealed that, for the first time in at least the 30 years for which data is available – and likely ever – Republicans now outnumber Democrats by more than 100,000 in what has long been considered arguably the single most important swing state in the nation, now upgraded to 30 electoral votes after the latest census,” the report added.
The outlet reported:
Florida has famously been attracting freedom-loving refugees from Blue America since the outbreak of the pandemic.
This has raised fears in some circles that those escaping the endless spiral of tax-and-spend liberalism might nevertheless bring their politics with them – witness the tide of leftist people and companies abandoning California for trendy Austin, TX.
But this revelation of Republicans overtaking Democrats in Florida all but puts that argument to rest, at least for the foreseeable future in this particular state which has come to be known, and proudly so by its brash, Trump-style Governor Ron DeSantis, as Free Florida.
New banner Memo – From the Desk of Senior Political Analyst Tim Donner 1If Florida can be turned into a reliably red state, it will alter the entire underlying calculus for presidential elections to which we’ve become accustomed for decades.
“This is a milestone moment in Florida’s history,” said Helen Aguirre Ferré, executive director of the Republican Party of Florida.
During the 2010 midterms, amid the tea party wave and the election of Rick Scott to governor, Democrats had a nearly 568,000 voter advantage. That fell to 264,000 in 2018 when DeSantis barely defeated former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum by more than 32,000 votes to become the state’s 46th governor. Democrats also were ahead of Republicans by more than 134,000 registered voters last year when President Donald Trump comfortably defeated Joe Biden in the state.
DeSantis, who has pushed the Republican Party of Florida to expand its registration efforts and even contributed $2 million to the effort, correctly predicted earlier this month that his party had overtaken Democrats, a factor he attributed in part to people migrating to Florida due to anti-lockdown, anti-mandate policies he pushed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Democrats are sounding the alarm on how the state of Florida is moving into a conservative stronghold.
According to a report, several Democrats are sounding the alarm about how “bleak” Florida is looking for them.
“It feels a little bit like we’re kind of set up to fail,” an unnamed Florida Democratic official told The Hill. “It’s not anyone person’s fault. A lot of these problems have existed for years. But for a party that has been decimated in the last few elections and especially the last one, I’m not seeing a sense of urgency yet.”
Steve Schale, a longtime Florida Democratic strategist, is telling Democrats that they could be in huge trouble going forward.
“Without a full-frontal, professional and accountable partisan effort to turn it around, sometime before the end of this year, there will be more Republicans registered in Florida than Democrats,” Schale wrote on his blog.
“That has NEVER happened before. And, given their voters have higher turnout scores — this isn’t a great place to start,” he added.
Republicans are also aware of their massive gains, and they do not plan to slow down.
“In a state like Florida, when you consider that you get 1,000 new residents a day, you really can’t stop. You have to keep going and you have to keep engaging,” said Helen Aguirre Ferré, Republican Party of Florida’s executive director.
Another party leader was even blunter.
“We are going to flip Florida and we’re going to make Florida red permanently,” said Florida GOP State Chair Sen. Joe Gruters.
Democrats in Florida are a minority and that minority is liable to grow once the GOP-controlled legislature begins its redistricting process later this year, leaving them further behind and making it even more difficult for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to keep her iron grip on the lower chamber.
Democrats fear that Republicans will use the state’s massive population growth as a means of eliminating some of their congressional seats.
That enormous growth, however, makes it much more likely that Republicans, who control 16 of the state legislature’s 27 seats, are going to be looking hard and fast at paring that down during redistricting in a way that will help lock in a GOP majority for years to come.
As Politico notes, “Gov. Ron DeSantis remade it by appointing several conservative-minded justices, leading to fears that this time around the GOP may have an easier time in crafting a map friendly to them,” though Democrats have said they’ll go back to court again if need be to challenge Republican maps they see as unfair.