Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Another State Legislative Win In Florida Last Night


Last night, the Dems chalked up another state legislative seat win in Florida. A couple of months ago, a friend of mine had pointed out that Florida had been one of the least susceptible states to the blue wave theory. The swing district win in the Coral Gables/Pinecrest/Cutler Bay district (HD 114) was the 4th Florida bellwether election since Trump narrowly won the state's 29 electoral votes, 4,617,886 (49.0%) to 4,504,975 (47.8%). Trump won 58 of Florida's 67 counties back then, all but Alachua, Broward, Gadsden, Hillsborough, Leon, Miami-Dade, Orange, Osceola and Palm Beach counties). This morning Marc Caputo, Politico's Florida politics expert called those 4 wins "the best evidence yet that the GOP is in retreat heading into the midterm elections under an unpopular president. On Tuesday, in Florida’s 114th House District in Miami, Javier Fernandez beat Republican Andrew Vargas by about 4.1 percentage points, despite being outspent by at least 2-1 in a swing seat where voters split their tickets between both parties in the 2016 elections."

Whether the contested seats in Florida have been red or blue and regardless of which party won, what they show is an undeniable swing towards the Democrats and away from Trump and the Republican Party-- exactly what the Democrats need in November, in Florida and across the country.
Fernandez’s win follows a shocking February victory by Democrat Margaret Good in Florida’s 72nd House District, which voted for President Donald Trump. Democrats also won Florida’s 40th Senate District in Miami-Dade and St. Petersburg’s mayoral race. Those last two elections had Democratic-leaning electorates with significant minority populations, unlike the 72nd in Sarasota and, to a lesser degree, the 114th District.

The win was also big for Florida Democrats because they finally started to build a bench by electing their second Cuban-American Democrat from Miami-Dade County to the Florida Legislature, where the 42-year-old Fernandez will join state Sen. José Javier Rodríguez.

Cuban-Americans dominate the power structure in Florida’s most-populous county, though they’re overwhelmingly Republican. But as the older generation gives way to second- and third-generation Cuban-Americans, political observers have been predicting for years that more would become Democrats.

In 2016, the 114th chose Democrat Daisy Baez by 2 percentage points, but Sen. Marco Rubio-- who used to represent parts of the district-- won it by 4.3 percentage points. Trump, though, lost it by 14 points.

...By registration, Republicans outnumber Democrats by about 1 percentage point. But independents make up roughly 31 percent of the voters. And Tuesday’s election showed the swing voters of the swing district favored the Democrat.

Despite Trump’s unpopularity, Democrats didn’t play it up-- a sign, they say, that the atmosphere in the nation’s largest swing state is toxic for the GOP.

Still, Republicans say Trump’s approval ratings are slowly improving and they hope that one of his closest allies, Gov. Rick Scott, will be able to fight the headwinds in his race against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson thanks to the governor’s improving poll numbers and the unprecedented $5 million in TV ads that he’s already dropping.

But Juan Peñalosa, the executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, said the wins show that Florida Democrats’ get-out-the-vote field program is working and that Republicans can’t keep up on the ground or when it comes to the message they’re delivering to voters.

“These wins are more than just Democrats having the ‘wind at our backs.’ We're winning because we are running smarter campaigns and speaking to the issues,” he said. “Voters are paying attention now and they are believing in our message, our plan and joining us in holding Republicans accountable by voting them out of office.”
Note on the maps how the Republican vote in the district has been creeping steadily downward since 2014.

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At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has the DCCC demanded that he turn over control of his campaign and his war chest to them yet? Has he been told to grab his cell phone and raise $250k?


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