Friday, June 22, 2018

Even In The Localest Of Races, It's All About Trumpanzee


There are 3 South Florida districts held by Republicans that are heavily Latino:
FL-25- Mario Diaz-Balart (70.4% Latino)
FL-26- Carlos Curbelo (69.5% Latino)
FL-27- Ileana Ros-Lehtien 72.7% Latino)
Trump fared poorly in all three- losing with 38.9% in FL-27 and with 40.5% in FL-26 while narrowly winning in FL-25 with 49.7%. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has prevented Democrats from contesting the seats held by her old pals Ros-Lehtinen and Diaz-Balart. Ros-Lehtinen (whose district now has a PVI of D+5 and is the second bluest district in the country held by a Republican) is retiring. FL-26 is the absolute bluest district-- PVI is D+6-- held by a Republican and Curbelo is running scared and can sometimes be a former vote for progressive legislation in Congress than Blue Dogs like Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), Josh Gottheimer (NJ), Henry Cuellar (TX), Collin Peterson (MN) and fellow Floridian Stephanie Murphy.

People say it would be hard even for the least competent, most badly run DCCC in recent history to lose these 3 seats this cycle. But that's exactly the kind of challenge the DCCC is best at-- losing sure things. They are entirely ignoring Mary Barzee Flores' race against Diaz-Balart. A former judge, she's too progressive for the DCCC. With no help from the DCCC, she's already raised $728,231 up against Diaz-Balart's $1,118,990. She makes sense as a candidate, being a Latina in a heavily Hispanic district. The DCCC doesn't seem to get that when they don't want to. The DCCC candidate in FL-26 is Debbie Mucarel-Powell, an Ecuadorian immigrant running against Curbelo and the 3 top Democratic candidates running in the open FL-27 seat are non-Hisapnic. The GOP will run either Bruno Barreiro or Maria Elvira Salazar. The DCCC hasn't weighed in but the likeliest Democratic candidates are David Richardson, Donna Shalala and Matt Haggman. No Hispanic-- although number 4, is Kristen Rosen Gonzalez, who had a Latino husband and is using his name for politics. Shalala seems to be way ahead of the pack for the August 28 primary. Her ethnic heritage is Lebanese. Can she win in a heavily Latino district? I didn't think so, but I may be wrong there.

The Miami Herald reported that on Tuesday Eileen Higgins-- not a Latina-- won a seat on the Miami-Dade County Commission, "defeating the better-funded campaign of the former commissioner's wife to scramble the conventional wisdom of who can get elected in a heavily Hispanic district in Miami."
Higgins, a Spanish-speaking Ohio native who adopted the campaign moniker "La Gringa," won by six points over Zoraida Barreiro, the Cuban-born wife of Bruno Barreiro, who resigned to run in a Republican congressional primary [FL-27]. With all 60 precincts reporting, Higgins had 53 percent of the vote, and Barreiro 47 percent.

...With the Democratic Party deploying money, office holders, candidates and volunteers to boost Higgins early on in the special election, an officially nonpartisan contest became a proxy battle with Republicans.

 The GOP used U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican from Miami, in robo-calls and mailers. Her husband's Republican congressional campaign also became her top donor, with at least $95,000 in contributions.

District 5 straddles parts of Miami and Miami Beach, with a heavy concentration of active voters in Little Havana and other enclaves where older Cuban-American voters are considered vital to win in low-turnout elections.

Turnout was nearly 15 percent, meaning voter interest increased after the four-person primary on May 22, when about 13 percent of the district's voters participated. For the runoff between Barreiro and Higgins, 14,023 ballots were cast, according to results posted after 9 p.m. Higgins took 7,449 and Barreiro 6,494. 
...Democrats outnumber Republicans in the district, and Hillary Clinton carried District 5 by double digits in 2016. But Republicans tend to turn out in low-profile, local elections.

Bruno Barreiro, the only Miami-Dade commissioner to openly support Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential campaign, held the seat for 20 years. He vacated it in March to run in the GOP primary to replace retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Miami Republican, in Florida's District 27.

...Though running for what would be her first political office, Barreiro enjoyed financial support from Miami-Dade's circuit of lobbyists, developers and vendors who dominate fundraising for incumbents. Tuesday represented the second loss for Barreiro in as many years, after she failed to win a Miami commission seat in 2017.

Higgins drew the underdog title throughout the 10-week sprint to replace Bruno Barreiro. In the May 22 primary, she faced two well-known names in the district: Zoraida Barreiro, along with Alex Diaz de la Portilla, a former state senator who used to represent the area in Tallahassee. Higgins pulled off her first upset when she took a narrow first in that contest with 35 percent of the vote to Barreiro's 33 percent. As the top two finishers, they advanced to the June 19 runoff.

Conventional wisdom had Barreiro the favorite, since she was expected to pick up most of Diaz de la Portilla's voters, a fellow Republican Cuban American. But Diaz de la Portilla didn't endorse in the race, and the Higgins ground game appeared to narrow the traditional advantage Republicans enjoy in mail-in balloting, which accounted for six out of every 10 votes cast in the District 5 runoff. While Republicans led Democrats by three points in mail-in ballots and early voting last week, the margin shrank to just a single point by Sunday.

"This is a transformational election," said Fernand Amandi, a Democratic pollster who supported Higgins. "This is an election where you had an unknown defeat two of the titular Cuban dynasties in local politics. and it wasn't even close."

...She also sided with the liberal wing of the commission on a string of issues, including mandatory workforce housing requirements for new developments, ending the acceptance of detention requests from federal immigration authorities, and opposing the extension of the 836 expressway southwest into Kendall.

The District 5 results are a blow for Bruno Barreiro, who transferred $95,000 from his congressional campaign to his wife's election effort. That made him his wife's top donor.

By her own admission, Barrerio is not a strong public speaker. She turned in a halting performance during the single televised debate with Higgins. Her online campaigning was minimal. While Higgins posted multiple daily updates from the campaign trail on her Twitter account, @eyesonmyworld, the @ZBarreiroFL feed hasn't been updated since last August.

In remarks at her Election Night event, Barreiro linked the loss in part to her husband's congressional campaign, saying Democrats targeted her to derail him.

And by the way, there may have been some voters who were offended by the Barreiros playing fast and loose with Florida election law. You cannot move more than $1,000 freely from a federal campaign-- his-- to a state campaign-- hers-- even if both campaigns are for the same candidate, let alone for another candidate, even if it is a spouse. That may come back to but Mr. Barreiro in the ass in November.


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At 6:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


It's as much about the hapless ineffectiveness and open betrayals of the democraps.

The anti-red wave can act to depress the Nazi vote. But the non/underperformance of the democraps in DC has also depressed the left turnout.

Could this be both an anti-red AND an anti-blue wave in some places? DWS' districts of influence could prove to be so.

At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least two of these districts are held by hermanas of Dumbie Washerwoman Schitz and are thus untouchable by progressives Democrats.


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