This year, Florida's not a swing state

Outside of the PR shops, you will be hard-pressed to find anyone involved in politics who believes that the Democrats are going to win here in November. The gubernatorial race is presumed to be over. The Senate race is presumed to be over. Most of the races for the House are presumed to be over, and so is the contest for control of the statehouse. The Democratic Governors Association is essentially sitting this year out in the state, as are many of the donors who would like to see Marco Rubio gone from Washington, D.C. And the future? That’ll be an uphill climb, too. In 2008, the Democratic Party enjoyed a registration advantage in Florida of more than 700,000 voters. By the 2020 election, that lead had shrunk to 134,242, and today, it is gone entirely. In December 2021, the Florida Republican Party announced that, for the first time in the history of the state, it had a voter-registration advantage over the Democrats. By March of this year, that advantage had increased above 100,000. It is still growing.

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Why has this happened? Some of it is due to the national environment, which is currently extremely helpful to the GOP. Some of it is due to the quality of the Republican Party’s candidates — whatever one thinks of their politics, it matters that one side has Ron DeSantis and Marco Rubio, and the other has Nikki Fried, Charlie Crist, and Val Demings. Some of it is due to migration, and to the political changes wrought by Covid. And a lot of it — apologies for sounding like a broken record here — is due to the Democrats’ having gone crazy. Historically, Florida has remained a swing state through wild changes in population, wealth, economic focus, demographic makeup, and median age. But through its insistence upon perpetual masking, its preference for neologisms such as “Latinx,” its relentless attempts to push radicalism on children, and its indifference to the South American communists whom many Floridians have fled, the contemporary Democratic Party may finally have done the impossible: For now, at least, it may have made Florida a safely red state.

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