Florida Democrats could face a death spiral after devastating losses

Source: Hot Air

As others have pointed out, there was a red wave Tuesday night but it only happened in Florida. There are no more hanging chads in Florida, just a lot of shell-shocked Democrats who worry this drubbing has sent the party into a death spiral.

Tuesday night was much worse for Florida Democrats than even some of the most optimistic Republicans had predicted. Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio vanquished their opponents by double digits. DeSantis-backed school board candidates won numerous races down the ballot. Republicans seized super-majorities in both legislative chambers…

“At the rate Florida is going, a (no-party-affiliated) candidate for governor may have a better shot than a Democrat in 2026,” Democratic strategist Kevin Cate tweeted Tuesday before polls closed. “It’s that bad. Complete collapse.”…

Observers note that the Democrats’ problems may coalesce into a death spiral. Dramatic losses make future candidates less prone to run. Lesser-quality candidates make it harder to raise money. With less money, bigger election losses become more common. With the new electoral maps drawn by DeSantis’ office heavily favoring Republicans, the future only gets tougher for Democrats.

So what’s the Florida GOP’s secret?

“The secret is there is no secret,” consultant Shannon Love said of Republicans’ success. “They do the work. I think that Democrats get caught up in the message and the polls instead of doing the consistent work.”

Daniel Smith, the chairperson of the University of Florida Department of Political Science, said that when looking solely at the voter registration numbers, Florida should be a competitive state.

“But there’s something going on with the Democratic Party infrastructure that is related to money, but it’s also the message and perhaps the messengers,” he said.

Florida Democrats have suffered such a crushing loss that they may have to spend years of effort and tens of millions of dollars in the state just to make themselves competitive again. They appear ready to start by getting rid of the chairman of the state party, though it seems he’s not eager to go.

After Tuesday’s results, there will not be a single Democrat in statewide office for the first time since Reconstruction. On Wednesday, the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida called on Manny Diaz, the chairman of the Florida Democratic Party, to resign.

Mr. Diaz, who did not return a call seeking comment on Wednesday, had told some party members ahead of Election Day results that he did not intend to leave his post. On Tuesday, he released a memo showing how national Democrats abandoned the state, investing less than $1.4 million this cycle, compared with more than $58 million in 2018.

Meanwhile, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 19-point blowout sets him up for a presidential run in 2024. The NY Times says DeSantis career “has become supercharged.”

While candidates endorsed or handpicked by Mr. Trump stumbled nationally, Mr. DeSantis routed former Representative Charlie Crist by 19 percentage points, an astonishing result that Republicans in the state were still marveling over on Wednesday.

“We had probably the best night you could have ever asked for,” said State Senator Joe Gruters of Sarasota, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida…

On Tuesday, every Republican running for statewide office won by at least 16 points, leaving little doubt that Florida is Republican country — and that Mr. DeSantis’s political career has become supercharged.

“Two more years!” some of his supporters chanted at his victory party in Tampa on Tuesday, alluding to a possible White House run in 2024.

I think there’s a pretty obvious message in all of this to the national GOP. If you want to win, you need to a) put in the work to register voters and b) find a competent candidate who can appeal to voters who are new to voting or who aren’t Republicans at all. Gov. DeSantis demonstrated he has those qualities.

On top of that he’s displayed something else every GOP candidate needs, the ability to withstand attacks from the national media. The media really did its best to make DeSantis a foil for Gov. Cuomo in New York who was riding high two years ago as the left’s hero of the pandemic. DeSantis was also repeatedly attacked on the basis of false claims made by Rebekah Jones. Two years later, Gov. Cuomo and his brother have lost their jobs. Rebekah Jones lost her run for office Tuesday and will next be headed toward a trial. But Gov. DeSantis is still moving onward and hopefully upward.