In a state known for its alligators, hurricanes, and theme parks, Florida stays politically wild and uncharted despite constant development and growth. If the state has swung to an enormous right within the 2022 midterm elections, a confluence of things can swing the political pendulum back with long-term strategic planning and year-round organizing.
If Donald Trump is understood for The Art of the Deal, Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz must be remembered for the art of losing—and losing BIG.
The state that gave rise to former President Donald Trump now has an incumbent governor re-elected to his second term in office. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been within the political crosshairs with Trump since his former protege seeks to mount his own Presidential bid.
Yet Trump stays popular with the Republican party base with huge loot of campaign money stashed away. Infighting and bickering between DeSantis and Trump could create a chance for Florida Democrats. Trump said of DeSantis: “Ron had low approval, bad polls, and no money, but he said that if I might Endorse [sic] him, he could win. I also fixed his campaign, which had completely fallen apart.”
In the identical way that Ron DeSantis has emerged as the brand new leader of the Republican pack, Florida needs a latest leader on the helm of the state party. If Donald Trump is understood for The Art of the Deal, Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz must be remembered for the art of losing—and losing BIG. The state’s Democratic Party infrastructure under Diaz’s leadership has fallen apart on the seams. The one way any candidate in Florida will be competitive is to work outside the party system. The more reliant candidates are on the state party, the more likely they’ll experience frustration and blistering loss.
Winning elections is in regards to the ground game. Local and state party leaders complained of the lack to succeed in Diaz in critical moments of the election. In addition they indicated that the state party seemed to be more of an organizational liability with guardrails than a voter mobilization machine. In our time with the Florida Democratic Party, we’ve got observed an uninspiring old guard of party leaders who will discount youth, minorities, LGBTQ, and progressive voices at every turn—left, right, and center. We now have also witnessed state parties in Minnesota, Maryland, California, and Illinois which are functional and manage to win elections or stay competitive. We now have seen in those states that the party bosses work with communities and grassroots activists slightly than shunning them.
Republicans in Florida have managed to master the Democratic playbook to win over voters with a groundswell of support. What the Florida Republicans are doing isn’t any secret after they can bolster their campaigning with gerrymandering and voting restrictions.
RPOF Chairman, state senator Joe Gruters stated, “The Republican Party of Florida has made voter registration a priority during the last several years. The outcomes are overwhelming, as registered Republicans now outnumber registered Democrats by nearly 300,000 voters. We also put together a turn-out machine on the state level, working closely with every county GOP. Tonight’s results, bolstered by strong candidates, reflect the fruit of those efforts. Further, voters know they’ll trust the outcomes because Florida has been a pacesetter in election integrity and rapid results.”
The backsliding in Florida is attributable to the catastrophic leadership of Manny Diaz. Bloomberg reported: DeSantis beat challenger Charlie Crist by 1.5 million votes or 46 times the 2018 margin of victory. Senator Marco Rubio upped his county share of the vote by a median of 6.7 points, clinching victory, while Republican House members saw a rise of 6.2 points.
“The State Party needs to wash house. It needs to begin with a clean slate of individuals with a proven track record of success. FDP must start training all Democratic Executive Committees (DECs) and candidates on organizing, fundraising, volunteer recruitment, canvassing, messaging, party constructing, voter registration, targeting, and GOTV,” said Wes Hodge, Orange County Democratic Party Chair.
He added, “We now have to return to the basics and rebuild from the bottom up in a fashion that’s inclusive and respectful of all Democrats.”
Nicole Varma, who’s an Orlando-based political strategist, echoes these sentiments.
“We want to construct a bench of candidates and run candidates for each race, even when deemed unwinnable. More importantly, we cannot leave our candidates high and dry without support. Or we cannot have the ability to recruit candidates irrespective of how blue the district is,” Varma said.