Florida Democrats are waving the white flag just two weeks before the November 8 midterm elections.
Numerous indicators in a new report from Politico show that Democrats no longer believe that Florida is a state where they can be competitive after Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has transformed the state from a Right-leaning purple swing-state to a red stronghold in only a few years.
Politico’s report highlighted the following red flags for Democrats in the state:
- The Democratic Governors Association spent just $685,000 this election cycle. It gave $14 million to Florida in the past two governor races.
- Big outside donor money has almost completely dried up. New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg contributed only $1.5 million to Democrats this cycle. He vowed $100 million to Florida in 2020.
- Polling shows Republicans making headway in Miami-Dade County, which has long been a blue stronghold.
- Democrats have collectively raised $29 million in the four non-federal statewide races. Republicans raised nearly $200 million.
DeSantis won the state in 2018 against now-criminally charged Democrat Andrew Gillum, who is facing 21 felony counts, by less than half a percentage point. Former President Donald Trump won the state in 2016 by 1.2 points and won the state in 2020 by 3.3 points.
Polls now show DeSantis dominating against Democrat gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist in this year’s elections by a whopping 14 points.
The report further noted that the voter registration advantage that Democrats had has completely dried up as they now trail Republicans by more than 300,000.
Matthew Van Name, a longtime Democrat consultant who attended a recent event in deep blue Miami-Dade County, noted that only a few dozen people even showed up, leading him to say, “2022 is one of the most uncomfortable and segmented cycles I’ve seen.”
The report highlighted how DeSantis has become a dominate national political figure who has raised more money for his political operation than all other potential 2024 candidates. According to one recent survey, DeSantis also has the highest net approval rating of any major U.S. politician.
“I think Ron DeSantis will win Miami-Dade County,” said Evan Ross, a longtime South Florida-based Democratic consultant. “Democratic voters are not at all excited or motivated by Charlie’s campaign. Right now, I think it will be close, but I think DeSantis beats Crist here.”
“The only thing that might give Charlie Crist a chance of becoming governor would be DeSantis aggressively campaigning for him over the next two weeks,” Ross said. “Translation: It’s over. And it’s going to be ugly.”